A couple years ago, I remember my older sister calling me on my phone and screaming joyful. I had no idea why she was so happy. She told me that her boyfriend finally proposed to her. I was not exactly excited, but I did not have the idea either. During the break I had to drive back home and then take a plane back to Los Angeles. For some reason it felt hard to walk my older sister down the aisle. The wedding reception was nice until some of my cousins got greedy when it came to food. My sister also asked me to dance with her, which I did not like because I do not like to dance. After that, our family had an after party that went like all our family parties, completely and totally wild.
After that, I took a plane back to Texas. Over a year later I remember I was in class one day when my sister called me. At first, I just ignored the call because I needed to focus on class, but she just kept calling me. I assumed it was some kind of emergency since she kept calling me every five seconds. I was pretty furious to hear her sound so happy when I answered the phone. I asked her why she was calling me so frequently and she gave me the news. She told me that she was going to have a baby. I honestly did not know how to process that information. A part of me was annoyed and another part was excited. I never once thought about being an uncle before. I became even more annoyed when my sister was constantly sending me pictures almost every week.
Before summer came, my mother asked me to spend it in Los Angeles and help take care of my sister because my brother in law was taking classes in the summer so he could graduate faster. I enjoyed the idea of going back home to Los Angeles, but besides that, I was not exactly thrilled. My sister’s pregnancy made her act differently towards me. In childhood, we were always antagonistic towards each other. We had a sibling rivalry that would make us lash out at each other in violent way, but now things were totally different. She was always nice to me during her pregnancy, which was very disturbing. She even made me take selfies with her, which I do not like to do. Because of the childhood pranks we played on each other I was always cautious of my sister whenever she would act peculiar. One time I may have told her boyfriend a small little lie about her and in return, she created my phobia for snakes. So we’ve always been at odds with each other.
Things just felt awkward during that summer. I was always on guard, expecting her pull some joke where I could not because I did not want to endanger the health of her or her baby. In time we figured out that the baby was going to be a girl which was somewhat exciting, but we also figured out to the due date which raised some serious alarm. Somehow, the baby was due to be born the exact same date that I was born. My sister, of course, was really excited, but I just found it to be a strange and ominous coincidence.
This had only ever happened once in our family. My mother’s grandfather was born the exact same date so she named me after him and my sister wanted to follow suit with her daughter. For some reason I was not at ease with that. I’m still not. Soon enough the baby was born on the expected due date and she was given the same middle name and the feminine of my name. After I had to pry her from her mother, and then her father, and then her grandmother, I finally got to hold my niece for at least five minutes. It was pretty satisfying for the moment.
After that, I came back to Texas to finish up school. Almost every day my sister sent me a picture of her little girl. She was obsessed with her daughter and showing her to me. It got really annoying at times. Strangely enough, my niece did that thing babies do for their parents when they are on the verge of fighting. All throughout my sister’s pregnancy we did not get into a single argument and we still haven’t yet. I actually think my niece ought us closer together.