ToysWhen 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.