I can’t believe how fast the hands on the clock move. It is pretty simple to figure out which child in the photograph is me, so by default the other child must indeed be my only sibling and sister Audrey. The picture was taken at my grandmother’s home – Mama Nell (my Dad’s mom). Looking at the photo I can still remember the smell of her perfume, Channel No. 5.
I also remember being very young and telling my parents over and over again that “I want a sister.” So when my sister was born, they told me that she was “my baby too” and boy did I run with that one. They let me name her. I was a very unusual child because I watched movies far beyond my years which meant that I knew all the old actors and actresses. I just loved Audrey Hepburn and that is why my sister is named Audrey.
We were inseparable. I believed she was better than any toy I had ever owned or could ever own. Audrey was a fantastic baby and the only drawback I ever saw as a child was that she wanted to sleep too much especially when I wanted to play.Audrey was a mother’s dream. She didn’t cry and wanted to sleep fourteen hours straight. She had such a pleasant disposition, big smile, chubby little legs, and a perfectly beautiful round head. I remember her laughing all the time.
As Audrey became a toddler, our sisterly relationship flourished and I have many memories of our younger days. We also had our little routines. When I was returning home from school in the afternoons, Audrey would be ready and waiting. It all started when she heard the bus coming down the street after it had stopped at the bus stop on the corner. It would start back up making that big engine bus noise and head towards the cul-de-sac where it would drop me off. Our home had hardwood floors and her crib had wheels. Audrey would stand in her crib and rock it until it rolled to the window. Upon reaching the window, she would pull back the curtains and squeal with excitement at seeing the bus go by knowing that I was about to be home. Meanwhile, on the bus by the window, I would watch with great anticipation to see if Audrey was awake and ready to play.
Those were such delightful and carefree days of lady bugs and dragonflies. We played outside every day and there always seemed to be a million things to do. One day when it was really hot, we made a “tent” out of an old sheet in the middle of the garage. The large garage door was open and the screen door leading to the backyard was open. I spent hours drawing and coloring paper to look like food – pork chops, peas, bread, beans. It took forever to cut out the peas and Audrey has never been known for her patience, but she jumped around and eventually sat and watched me.
I couldn’t really draw pudding, so on that sunny summer day, I took one of my plastic toy cups and went outside in search for “pudding”. I put some dirt in the cup and added a little water from the spigot on the back of the house. Then I took the tiny little white plastic spoon and stirred until the mud became the consistency of pudding. During this whole process, Audrey was right there beside me watching me dig for the perfect dirt and stirring until it became smooshie.
Eventually we went back into the garage, into our little tent, and piled food on our plates. Audrey watched me pretend to eat the paper pork chop and she copied me. Then she watched as I struggled to keep the peas on the very tiny white plastic toy fork and pretended to eat them while saying, “Yummy peas!” Of course, she would copy me. The exciting moment of dessert had arrived and with great pride I scooped some of the mud pudding into our cups being sure that they were equal (I was nerdy like that). We both picked up our cups and I distinctly remember saying, “This is our pudding,” and took a spoonful and PRETENDED to eat it. What do you think Audrey did? Yeah, she took a spoonful of mud pudding and stuck it in her mouth and said “Mmmmmm!” I, of course, in a total panic, screamed for my mother who thought the world was ending by the way I was hollering. Mom came running out, assessed the situation and took Audrey in the house to clean the mud pudding out of her mouth.
(rolling my eyes)