For our second to last class, we explored the memoir style of creative writing. Our assignment was to pick a memory from our past and make it into a scene. The first memory that popped into my head was when my sister and I were told we would be getting another sibling. It was our last assignment and my favorite one to write. Five years into my innocent existence, my parents threw me a curveball. I had finally accepted that this small being who looked like me but with hair wound like corkscrews was not going to be taken back to the hospital where she came from. But when they told me they wanted to add a little boy to the mix, I was thoroughly shocked.
My memory of the moment I found out I was getting a little brother is a bit blurry. Through that blurriness, though, I see us in our living room. A square of sunshine reaches into the room from the window next to the front door, cutting the darkness created by the closed shutters on the front window. My sister and I were engaged in something that wasn’t listening to our parents, so when they asked us, “Sonja, Alexis, do you want a little brother?”, we didn’t hear them the first time. They asked again. This time we heard, but we were eager to get back to whatever we were doing. So we said, “No thank you.” We hoped that would be the end of it.
I can assume that there must have been a silence in which my parents panicked, realizing that asking a 3 year old and a 5 year old if they wanted a baby brother was probably the wrong approach. A few beats later they changed course. They put on their most cheerful voices and said, “Girls, you are going to have a baby brother!” I wailed, “Nooooooooo!” My sister followed my lead and began crying as well. I can’t recall if I was actually upset that I was going to have a little brother or if I was upset that they had told us we were going to do the opposite of what we had said we wanted. The kind, older sister that I am now hopes that it was the latter.
My mom assures me that the crying stopped quickly once they explained how fun a little brother would be, and that we could help her take care of him. My sister is positive that this was not the way it went down at all. She can’t recall exactly how it happened but she is sure we had said we wanted to name him Champ.