Pencil Shavings: The significance of a birthday
Justice Amick is a junior news journalism major and writes “Pencil Shavings" for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Justice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I had a Facebook memory pop up the other day that almost made me cry.
In it is a little girl in front of a rainbow-pink Hello Kitty cake, with a big, glossy, pink six on top of it and a purple Hello Kitty figurine waving “hello.” With her strawberry blonde hair down, her aquamarine eyes closed tight and her baby pink lips pursed, she is ready to make the biggest wish of her life on that number six candle.
I have two little sisters. One is the little girl I described in the photo that was turning six. Today, she is 10. My other sister just turned 14, two days before my youngest sister. Coincidence, I know.
Seeing her picture pop up on my Facebook page, and knowing of course that today is her birthday, got me thinking about who she was as a person. I’ll never live the life she has or be a fourth grader again but I like to think I know a bit about what she thinks and does and likes.
It also reminded me of the day she was born, as cliche as that sounds. I’d begged for a sibling for the first 10 years of my life so by the time the tenth year rolled around and I was still an only child, I had come to terms with it and was ready to be spoiled for the rest of my life.
Lo and behold, my mom sits me down and tells me I’m going to be a big sister.
Obviously life was about to change drastically for my family. What really made me change my mind was when my mom’s baby bump started to show. The idea that my mom was carrying a human inside of her stomach was amazing to me. Impossible, honestly.
When she went into the labor the idea that she was about to push it out of her was also impossible. My mom being pregnant taught me that a woman’s body is truly a masterpiece. However, what comes out of a woman’s body is even more beautiful.
There it was. Screaming, bright red, with red tufts of hair to match. Naked, which I thought was weird, because everyone in the room was crooning to her and telling her she was beautiful. I thought she had to be cold.
When it was my turn to finally hold her I was excited. Finally, I got to see what the hype was about. I’d been waiting through rounds of people for it to be my turn and it was.
I sat on the uncomfortable grey couches in my mom’s room with those oversized pillows they put under your elbow because they can’t trust you yet not to hurt the baby. They sat her in my arms.
People say in their lives they have these moments. Moments where they knew that for the rest of their life they had a job to do.
My job, from that moment on, was to be the best sister anyone could have. Protective, fierce, loving and fun, I was going to make this one for the books.
I still aim for that goal everyday. Her birthday, and my other sisters’ birthday, signifies to me every year why I do what I do everyday.
I march for gun control so that they won’t have to. I fight against sexism and for equal pay, so that they won’t have to. I talk openly about mental health and rape and all of those “scary” words, so that they go into a world where people who are victims or are struggling, are being helped. Why? Because it could be them.
They are my moment. I can’t wait to make them proud.