CREDOS : Sibling Love — II

When I saw her — my parents’ new darling — I noted immediately that she was much larger than a baby chick. Most of the time, she slept in the white basket with wheels. Sometimes I would stretch up on my tippy-toes and peek over the side of the basket. Her dancing eyes would look my way, and I would think — that she might even be worth keeping.

I know now that I should have been nicer to my little sister. I suppose losing my seat of power and privilege did more damage to my tender psyche than anyone realised. My sister was barely in elementary school when she began to exhibit the characteristics of arachnophobia (though her terror was hardly limited to spiders). In my immaturity, I couldn’t help but see these fears as fodder for torture and blackmail, a way to get even with the interloper.

“Scratch my back, and I’ll make sure there aren’t any spiders under the bed,”

I’d tell her. “You might want to let Mom take a look at those freaky white spots on your back,” I’d warn. A more loving, nobler older sibling might have looked with compassion upon her sister’s foibles, but my black heart was not so inclined.

As adults, my sister and I finally made our peace. I tell everyone she’s terrific, and she seems to have found it in her heart to forgive me. Perhaps she felt partially vindicated a few years back when she told my boss and a close co-worker that she was proud to see I now wear shoes and underwear. Touché. — (Concluded)