Thursday, January 15, 2009


Melanie says that I never talk about her on my blog, so today I decided would be a good day to spend some time focusing on my little sister, who basically litters my website with her gorgeous face.

I was 13 years old when Melanie was born. I was at a sleep away camp in West Virginia and was shocked when my grandparents were the ones picking me up on my last day. I had that initial shock of "Oh my God, how did they die?" when I didn't see my mom, because yes, my obnoxious brain always jumps to the worst possible conclusion. Luckily, my grandparents were both wearing a matching set of smiles and when a friend asked if "she had the baby????" They said yes and we got all my stuff, packed up the car, and drove to a hospital far far away from Camp Rim Rock where I got to meet Melanie for the first time.

Now, to be honest, I was incredibly jealous of Melanie. It was hard enough being 13, dealing with the many dimensions of middle school cliques, not to mention having horrible control over my oily, gross, skin, and thin, stringy, blonde hair, plus the impending doom of the braces I didn’t even have yet on top of the fact that I have to deal with having a really super cute, adorable BABY sister. So no fair.

I’ll admit, when it was just my immediate family, Melanie as a baby was fun. The house was always littered with toys; there was always something going on, she just made the whole place livelier, parents included. The only way to get her to stop crying was to sing the Winnie the Pooh song or the Theme Song from Elmo's World on Sesame Street, which Brett sang all the time. Makes me realize how much his voice has changed...

I think it was around the time Melanie was a toddler, probably about 4 years old, that I actually started to snap out of my whole “I’m a bratty, disgruntled teenager who wants nothing to do with her family” phase. We all go through that right? (And my Mom is probably reading this right now saying hmm…I’m not sure she has ever grown out of that one.) But I assure you I have. I even remember the first vacation where I actually had a lot of fun just hanging out with my family. It was when we all hopped on an plane and flew to Disney World. The only time all 6 of us have ever been on an airplane together. Unless I have completely blocked something out, I am pretty sure the airplane ride was uneventful. I thought it was going to be horrible as I had ridden on planes before with small children.

I remember that was the vacation where I found out that Melanie broke my favorite snow globe with Cinderella and Prince Charming dancing in it. My mom and her were looking for a new one to replace it but never found one that was the same. I remember it so vividly because I can picture this one photo my mom snapped of me sitting off on a bench being angry about it and that no one had told me when it happened. Jeez…so silly to be so upset over something so small. Wish I had known that then.

I also distinctly remember another summer when Mom came home one day from getting Melanie from day camp and was really, really upset. She told me that today was the day that some stupid punk-ass teenage camp counselor (my words, not hers) decided to inform Melanie that me, Brett and Daren were not really her brothers and sister, that we were only her half siblings. I can remember feeling my heart break a little bit too. I know she knows but I hope she never forgets that none of us have ever, ever thought of her as anything but our sister. Our real sister.

And actually….that reminds me of another this other tidbit too. We were all in the car getting ready to go out to dinner and for whatever reason Melanie was describing me. She described me as “pretty, nice and sometimes mean.” I remember thinking then that I really did not want my sister thinking that her older sister was mean, that it was just unacceptable. I have consciously tried to be a better sister since then. I am hoping she wouldn’t describe me as that now, but who knows.

Anyway, now, Melanie is 10, a twig-like ballet dancer who can’t do a cartwheel to save her life and rocks out to the Jonas Brothers on a regular basis. She operates the television better than I can, and probably a computer too for that matter, is smart as all hell, a social butterfly and is incredibly stunning and surprisingly elegant for her age.

All in all, I think Melanie, or just having a little sister, has taught me a lot about my life. She has helped teach me that there are some things that just don't matter, and when they don't matter, we need not dwell on them because life is just too short. She has helped me to relize that I can be a better person and that I do have an effect on all those around me. And she has taught me that it is much better to love than to ever be jealous.

I’m sure if I forgot to say something about how wonderful she is that Melanie will post it in the comments section for me. Right?

Sleepover soon, chica??


Melanie said...

Seriously, we do need to have a sleepover!

Anonymous said...

You wrote all that just to make me cry, didn't you....well, it worked, especially the pic of Melanie dancing with Pop-Pop. I'm the luckiest mom in the world to have four children who really do love each other and love to hang out with each other and are so supportive of each other. I really do believe that you have had a huge impact on making that happen. You have taken the lead and they have followed it. You are one terrific big sister and that's no small thing! Love you!

Mom said...

that shouldn't have been anonymous, it's me, Mom.

Abigail said...

This is very touching Danielle. I am with you 100 'bout the awesomeness of family. I remember that my mom told me that my sisters would be my best friends, and I DIDN"T BELIEVE HER! Needless to say, I do now.

And to Danielle's mom: you seem really nice and I had a flash of "adorable" when I read your comment. PS. I think readers could figure it was you writing those things.