Deja Vu

One night, when I was about three years old, my big sister crept into my room. We were both supposed to be asleep. "I need you to go check on Mommy," she said. "I'm afraid she's left us all alone."

"Okay," I said agreeably, not asking why this fear had surfaced. We had never been left all alone before, after all; but I was used to doing what Jana told me to do. So I slid out of bed and padded down the hall. I was probably carrying my beloved doll, Sherry, by the hair. (I often woke up in the middle of the night and cried because I couldn't find Sherry. My mom always came to help me locate her.) I peered around the corner into the living room. My mom was on the couch, watching TV and possibly needlepointing. It might have been Kojak or the Rockford Files on TV. She looked up and saw me.

"What are you doing out of bed?" she asked.

"Um," I said, not knowing exactly what to say. Should I rat out my sister? I decided not to. "I, um, wondered if you were still here."

"Of course I'm still here," she said. "Now go back to bed."

I went back to my room. "Of course she's still here," I told Jana. She said okay. She did not say "thank you." She went back to her bedroom, and I tried to go back to sleep, now vaguely worried about something I'd never worried about before.

Yesterday morning while I was getting dressed, I heard Phoebe calling me from her bedroom. "Mommy! Where are you?"

I was about to answer when I heard Mallory respond: "Phoebe, Mommy left us. She decided she didn't want us anymore and she left."

Phoebe wailed. I went down the hall, half-dressed, to scold the one daughter and comfort the other.

What is it with big sisters?


aimee said...

That is sad and yet so funny at the same time.