I always referred to my youngest sibling as the baby. I was fiercely jealous. I didn’t like the responsibility of being the eldest. I didn’t like the idea of sharing a room with my other sister for the rest of my life. I didn’t like setting the example for anyone. The constant nagging I got from my parents was something along the lines of, “Denisita, eres la màs grande, te debes portar mejor que tus hermanitas.”
I resented the day my sister was born. I was in second grade and she was born on a weekday. I remember my dad took my mom to the hospital in the middle of the night and when I woke up my dad was in the kitchen making me and my other sister scrambled eggs. I asked, “Dad, why are you cooking?” He responded, “Your mom is having a baby and we’re going to pick them up afterschool.” I thought, “Ugh, another baby. I’m sick of taking care of babies.” Then I asked, “Who’s going to brush my hair?” My dad said, “I am.” I was like, “What?” “You never brush my hair. You can’t brush it. I don’t know how to brush it. I’m going to look dumb at school!” At that age, kids started caring about their appearance and an ugly ponytail was not the look I was trying to rock.
My mom used to brush my hair so that I had a super tight ponytail that jerked my eyes back a little bit. She ritually dabbed the brush en agua con limon para que no me despienara. Every girl had a super tight ponytail. That morning my dad made a lumpy ponytail, hair sticking out all over the place. I was mortified to show up at school.
After a long day of school, my afternoon routine of watching MariMar was interrupted by a trip to the hospital. My dad picked me up with great enthusiasm, my youngest sister had been born and he was extremely excited to get back to the hospital. When we got to the hospital, the little gift from God was wrapped in my mother’s arms. My relatives were there to greet the new baby and my cousins and I discussed how she was born. We didn’t know where she came from. We wanted an explanation and we didn’t get one, so we made one up.
I looked out the window to check for a stork. “You know, I think we missed the stork that delivers the baby, you know that big bird at the baby shower.” “I wish I would have seen it.” “It’s probably a really big bird.” “Where does the bird get the blanket?” My cousin responded, “At the store.” Then my other cousin said, “No, you get babies at the baby store in the hospital. I just walked by the baby store.” Then I said, “I want to go to the baby store! I want to pick my own baby!” My other cousins agreed that we should have all discussed on what kind of baby my parents were going to buy.
After chit chatting about babies we went home with our new baby. We didn’t bother talking about our ideas with the grown ups because they never explained anything anyway. I had asked my mom once, “Where do babies come from?” and she responded, “Solo Dios sabe.”