Monday, March 17, 2014

March Slice of Life Story Challenge: Day 17 of 31 / Toys

Note: I am attempting to mentor myself from Jacqueline Woodson's beginning in Pecan Pie Baby. See today's classroom challenge post here.


When the late afternoon sun is streaming in the windows and the day is closer to over than beginning, my mom comes down the stairs with a worn shopping bag in her hand. 

"I found Abby's old baby toys for Thomas," she says. "Abby sure doesn't need them anymore."

I smile and think of my sister, gorgeous, poised, and so grown up. Soon she will be moving to a new city with her boyfriend. Her adult life is just starting, she has a world of possibility at her feet.

I look over the toys, and memories spring from each one as I turn them over in my hands. The candy striped rattle with the blue beads conjures little Abby playing on my lap before dinner, the plastic set of keys brings a recollection of rushing home after school to see my baby sister, the plastic tumbling man calls up her first belly laughs.

To be fifteen with three younger brothers and have your parents announce a new baby is on the way is a curious thing. I remember the day she was born, her first steps, her first day of school. I remember the whispers at the supermarket when I'd carry her around. "She's so young," went the hushed voices behind me. I remember, too, how angry and embarrassed my sister seemed when people called my grey-haired father Grandpa.

And now, we share clothes, stories, bottles of wine. We've been asked if we are twins. (Note: of course I love this, Abby not so much. And for the record, it has not happened in quite some time.) She is my sister, my friend. 


  1. Love this slice of life. Your relationship with your sister is very real in your words. Your modeling from a mentor text--a great strategy for kids and adults alike!

  2. What a fun way to look at your friend, your sister. I am sure you have dreams of what lies ahead for her.

  3. This is so beautiful, Anna. You and your sister are so far apart in age and lived such different lives once upon a time, but now you're dear friends. What a gift her life is to you (and vice versa).

    Love the twins thing, too! That made me lol.

  4. This post is so packed with different emotions. I actually found myself angry in the grocery store--I'm not sure that you meant it! Your parents were brave to take on a fifth child ( not that there was a choice) but how wonderful for your entire family, especially you! I hope that my daughters grow up to be such friends!

  5. I loved this slice! I have three younger sisters--the one farthest apart from is 6 years younger and at this point I often feel more like a maternal figure towards her than an older sister or (especially) a friend. I'm sure that in ten years, however, my feelings towards her will change and I'll see of her more as an equal-- right now thinking about Cecily as my equal is a bit scary and very hard to imagine but I know that will change with time!

    1. It will change with time, I'm sure. But of course not overnight! Of course, I'm still the protective older sis. :)

  6. Such a beautiful story of love and friendship! You are lucky! ;)

  7. What an amazing experience getting to watch your sister grow up and having the memories of her as a baby, then being friends as adults.

  8. This is so sweet! And I love your lead. Beautiful.