Setting the Example

My Grandma's little mini cooper was silent. You simply could not hear it. Which is why on the day when I knew my mom was on her way, in my Grandma's little blue mini cooper, I sat by the living room window and stared down our long driveway that was half way covered with trees. We had moved to California because my mom was about to be a single mother of three children, one of them a newborn baby. My mom was staying in Phoenix until the baby was born because that was where her doctor was. We were staying with the grandparents on our mom's side. I remember when my little sister was born, even though I was only three, everyone told me I had to be the example because the younger siblings alway look up to the older sibling. That freaked me out a little bit at first but then I realized it just meant I got to be the bossy one. The organized one, which I love organizing things, it is by far my favorite thing to do. That and boss people around, or lead them as my mother would always say. She would tell me, “A leader is better than a boss because a leader sets the example and a boss just barks orders at people. Be the leader.” We had gotten the call about a week ago that my little brother had been born. I was spending the night at my Nana Geri's house at the time. I remember her phone ringing and her picking it up off the coffee table, her face lighting up when she saw who was calling. I asked her who it was and she just put her finger to her lips telling me to be quiet. I always forgot my manners when I was excited about something. About three minutes into the call she smiled and said, “Your mom wants to talk to you”. I practically leaped across the couch and attacked her hand for the phone. My mom told me my brother head been born and that she would be there in a week. So, there I sat, at my grandparents house looking out the window down the long tree covered driveway watching for my grandma's silent Mini Cooper. When I saw it at the end of the driveway I screamed to let everyone know she was hear and then ran out the door to greet my mom. When I saw her she was holding my brother in a little blue blanket and smiling. I will never forget her tired smile. It was the one we saw when she came home exhausted from work, but still ready to play games with us and make dinner. She even made time to teach us how to cook and do chores which we enjoyed because we got to spend time with her. I gave her a hug and then we went inside and sat on the couch. When I asked to hold my brother my mom just said, “make sure to support his head like this” and gestured to the way she was holding him. I held out my hands and she put him in my arms. I just sat there for a while holding my brother. His name was Kheiron. I remember his face was all wrinkly, he looked like an old man. He looked up at me with eyes full of kindness. We called him squeaker because he did not cry, he squeaked. He fell asleep in his little blue blanket, and shortly after that I also fell asleep. I helped take care of him all the time, just like I had with my sister. His favorite thing to eat was rice when he got old enough, which I thought was odd because my sister's favorite thing when she was younger was bananas. I could peel a banana but I could not cook rice, so I asked my mom to teach me and she did. It was not because I had to, I just liked playing with babies and taking care of them. I thought they were by far the cutest thing in the world. And when they cried I couldn't do anything else until I figured out what they wanted. Everything my mom had taught me I wanted to teach them. In my mind it was the example I had to set. Being a big sister showed me that it is not about being the eldest or smartest or the one that always wins, but rather a lifetime leader.

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