Saturday, May 2, 2009

Let's Just Call It What It Is

It's the middle of the night, and I can't sleep.

Spending time with family leaves me feeling so restless. I never seem to prepare myself properly: I either bow up with tension in anticipation of anything that may happen, or leave myself overly vulnerable to hurtful actions and words. In 35 years I have yet to find the proper balance. That middle ground.

Tonight, I finally admitted out loud something that has been formulating in the back of my head for three years now. One of the main reasons I do not want a third child? I am terrified to have another daughter.

One of the reasons I had to know if LittleMan was a girl or a boy was to prepare myself for the possibility that I would have two girls. I have absolutely no reference in my family for sisters who get along. My sister and I don't. My two cousins who are sisters don't. If I indeed had been pregnant with another girl, I would have needed the remaining months to seek out all the families I knew who had daughters who loved and cared for each other. To garner advice.

My sister and I have no relationship. Zero. She calls me when she needs something, and every time I believe she is changing, has grown, I am dumped back on my ass right where I started from.

I blame myself for constantly having the expectation of a relationship. She must think I am quite hot and cold. I can never nail down her mood, and she treats me with an attitude I can only describe as disposable.

She has called me when she has been depressed. She has called me when her life has been falling apart. She has called me when she has gotten herself into crazy situations and needed to know how to break the news to my parents.

She never calls to see how I am. How my children are. Just to say hello. Up until this pregnancy, I had come not to expect it. Somehow, stupidly, I thought getting remarried and having a baby would encourage some shred of sibling affection in her.

Now that she has my crib, bassinet, baby clothes and bouncer apparently there isn't all that much to discuss.

This evening, in front of me she told my cousin how she couldn't wait to go and spend Christmas with them. How wonderful it would be to have all the children together. To have all the families together.

I sat there, my face burning. My aunt must have sensed my lame attempt at a stony expression because she chimed in to say that some summer it would be great to have all the cousins and all the kids together.

Nice save.

So there it is. I am afraid to have a third child because I don't want to fight the medical community for another VBAC. I am overwhelmed with two, and it would be financial suicide to add to our brood. And rolled up into it is my complete lack of faith that I could raise sisters who do credit to the word.

Aren't family visits home a hoot?


Irrational Dad said...

I have two brothers and a sister. I haven't talked to my younger brother in about 4 years. I haven't talked to my sister in over 6 years. I sometimes (a few times a year) talk to my older brother. We just aren't a close family.

Sarah (wife) is one of 4 girls, and I've never seen a closer bunch of sisters. They talk to each other multiple times per week, and see each other AT LEAST once a month. It's insane to me. We both, literally, do not understand each others' families.

So, it can be done, but I don't know how. I wish I knew how to have a proper relationship with my kin, but I just don't know how, because I never have. I feel like I'm missing out, but also like I'm not.

I dunno what I'm saying.

A Free Man said...

I have a sister and we never really got along either, so it's not just a sister-sister thing. I don't know what happens or doesn't happen in less than functional sibling relations. Dr. O'C and her sister get along really well, and she's hoping that having the kids close in age will help. I don't know.

The Van Goat Ranch said...

OMG!!!! I hope you didn't take my post to mean that there would be nothing left to your blog if you didn't swear!!!! I am a stupid ass! I certainly didn't mean you.

I am sorry you don't have a good relationship with your sister. My sister and I fought like cats and dogs when we were growing up, but we are very close now. I am so sorry that you don't have that with your sister. It would be nice if the baby would wake her up to the fact that it isn't all about her. Babies have a way of doing that. In any event, your sister doesn't know what she's missing.

RiverPoet said...

I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. My youngest sister is like yours; I only hear from her when she needs something. That's because our parents spoiled the hell out of her and never made her grow the hell up. She's in her 40s and is still looking for handouts.

My older sister and I have had our ups and downs, but she has been my rock and I have been hers. When we have had problems with our daughters, we've been there for each other. When no one else would understand, we do. When there is NO ONE ELSE to call - we call each other. I wouldn't trade her for anything. She immediately got on a plane when Stef died and came to help me. Put aside her own life and came to me.

Just wanted to tell you that good sister relationships do exist, my friend. And they are like pure gold.

Love you - D

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

I look at my mom and her sister and I see two completely different people who couldn't have come from the same parents. My mom didn't even go to her sister's funeral, for fuck's sake.

And then I see Ty's mom and her two sisters. And the two daughters of Ty's Aunt Barbara. Thick as thieves, those girls, and the complete opposite of what I saw growing up.

Don't let your experience make you scared to have number three. Make the prolonged toddler screaming make you scared. ;P

Gypsy said...

Just to add to your arsenal, my aunts (who are sisters) are extremely close. They live next door to each other. That doesn't mean they always get along; they don't. But they're close.