I didn’t really understand at that time why my mother had to go to the hospital and stay there for several days until it was okay for her to leave. I did ask my father though if we could be with her, but all I got from him was: “We’ll wait for her back at home.” He didn’t really bother explaining to me why we couldn’t stay and neither did he bother to tell me why she was staying there. But to be honest, I wasn’t even that curious. I was a five-year-old who cared more about playing with her cousins than concerning myself with the well-being of my own mother. More curious about the insects hiding below the playground’s slide than about the endless whines my mom gave every night
I mean, can you really blame a kid at that age to care about anything else other than living their lives as if tomorrow will be the same as yesterday? That when they wake up it will always be eat, sleep and play.
You can’t blame them, right? Or maybe I was just that kind of kid, who didn’t know any better. Whose parents didn’t inform her enough about the big adult world that was out there. They could have taught me everything they wanted while I was growing up. I could’ve been a very smart kid and be more prepared about what was to come.
Be prepared that my mother was finally coming home from the hospital after a week. Coming home back to us with a guest. A guest who would stay forever with us. Someone I had to share my parents’ love with.
I remember very well how both of my parents laid in bed with her in between them, my father asking me to join them and to take a closer look at her. Approaching and just staring in awe at who came back home with my mother.
“You’ll be her Ate.”
That’s Tagalog for “Big Sister”.
Those were the words my dad said to me before he and mom went out to cook our dinner.
Just a moment ago I was a single child, who would have never thought that in just a blink of an eye, I would become the older sister of someone.
© KerstinArquette 2022-07-24