Growing up I had two dreams. The first was to be a sports broadcaster. The second was to be a husband and father.
Being a sports broadcaster never materialized for a number of reasons. My sister was born two months before I turned 12.
I was mesmerized by her. I also have a brother was is 2.5 years younger than me. My brother was more into his legos and Star Wars action figures than he was into our sister.
My mom always said there were many more pictures of me holding her than there was of her. I am the golden grandchild on both sides of my family.
As the first-born, I was always around children younger than me. My Uncle always brought my cousins over on his weekends from the time I was 14. His kids are a daughter five and a half and a son eight years younger than me.
Although my relationship with the younger of the two has ebbed and flowed throughout out lives no one in my family has been there for me more through adversity than he has.
I can remember sitting with my sister and feeding her her bottles when she was a baby. I would walk her over to our neighbor’s house for playdates. They have an older child my age. Her half-sister from her father is my sister’s age. The older sister and I stayed friends for a long
The older sister and I stayed friends for a long time after that. I stood up for her in her wedding and held her two youngest sons at their bris’. We stay loosely in touch to this day.
All this time around children gave me great joy and taught me what a huge responsibility children are.
When my sister was two we moved from the home of my childhood three and a half miles away. Although the move was from one community to another and close by, it was a culture shock.
I grew up in a community that was predominately Jewish. I had one non-Jewish friend until sixth grade. I only had a handful of gentile friends when we moved. I had to adjust from a seventh grade class of nearly 300 that was 75-80 percent Jewish to an eighth grade class of 44 that had only five other Jews.
Spending time with my cousins and sister gave me a lot of confidence being around children. I remember going with mom and housekeeper to take my sister to her mom and tot class when she was two.
Many of the other children in her class we are still in touch with. Included among those was my mom’s nephew, his still closest friend, the neighbor we used to have the playdate with and a little boy who would eventually become my sister’s husband with who she now has three children.
Many of my friends were mesmerized by my sister. They liked taking her for walks in her walker inside and car outside. They would eventually go home and have the more traditional dream of being an athlete, astronaut, doctor of something professional.