My little Squishy is two and half, give or take a couple of weeks. For most people, two and half is not a milestone, and it’s not a big deal. As far as I am aware, two and half is nothing special in a child’s development. But for me, two and half means so much.
I met my little sister when she was two and half. She is now 14 and a fully fledged teenager with all those weird teenage habits like being addicted to her friends and talking to me in France at hours that make no logical sense. I mean seriously, if you can be asleep on a Tuesday at 3 a.m. why on Earth would you be up commenting on Facebook photos?
My baby sister, who is no longer a baby in any way, was once all mine.
Being a short-sighted fool, I didn’t join my family on their full 2 week trip to China; I didn’t want to miss that much school. Guess what, I have no idea what they taught that week, but I do know I wasn’t there to meet my little sister at the same time my father and sisters did, and I never got to see where she spent the first two and half years of her life, and I hate that almost every time I think about it.
I met her in a hotel room in Beijing. She was sleeping, she was beautiful and I loved her instantly. I know some people think that it takes time to love a child, and I’m very sure that is true for them, but I loved that little girl the moment I saw her, just like I loved my children the moment I met them. When she woke up, she was a little hesitant with me at first, but she very quickly clung to me like she was drowning. To be honest, I think she was, she was drowning in a sea of North Americans, with their weird skin, weird eyes and weird voices, and she was drowning in a world so completely unknown to her.
We visited Beijing together, and the Great Wall of China and she tried to teach me Chinese (she failed).
On our way back to Canada, my father got hit with the flu, and was barely able to stand by the time we finished our travels. We left him alone in a hotel room, and she and I went on with our lives. She was all mine for that weekend. It was wonderful. I knew she wouldn’t stay mine forever and it broke my heart to leave her 200 km away from me when I went back to school.
When I look at my little daughter who is two and half, I think about her now Aunty Em at that age. I think of how much Em had lived before we met her, and I think of the strong personality she had already developed (she freaked out when my dad dared to put rice on his plate instead of in his bowl…she just couldn’t handle such uncouth behaviour). She was a cool little kid, now she’s 14, she’s a teenager, and she’s my annoying little sister (who oddly enough has essentially the same personality as me, with the added bonus of being athletically gifted…jerk) and she will be here to visit me in just over a week. WOOHOO.