|Me and my Star; Robert Moses Beach, NY; Winter, 1994|
In another post I wrote about my Mom (and the cat face), and I did paint a picture of a fun gal, which she certainly can be. But these moments of whimsy were the exception, not the rule—growing up under her roof was a major buzzkill, more often than not. Through the eyes of a mother, I can now fully understand her parenting choices (though I'll never agree with them). She sheltered Star and me so securely as we grew up that we didn't live what I'd consider "normal" or "average" American childhoods and, as a result, missed out on a lot. (A LOT.)
Of course, first-generation kids in any nation can experience a disconnect between the ways their friends' families live and the way their own families get on, especially if their parents/guardians/whatevers are firmly attached to their homelands' mores. I geddit. But it's hard to deal with when you're a kid and you're not allowed to go over a friend's house, or do sleepovers or, later as a teen, go to the ubiquitous Mall, or dozens of other perfectly natural things kids do with their friends. I think the reasons she wouldn't let us do these things came from her unfamiliarity with American cultural norms as well as her inordinate fears for our safety. Like I said, I understand now what drove her, and I'm not holding a grudge (anymore). But I can tell it like it was, you know?
Anyway, the point for detailing all of the above is to illustrate the environment in which Star and I spent our formative years. We were stuck at home, like, ALL THE TIME. We definitely got on one another's nerves now and again, but we were one another's refuges, really. Whenever one of us got sick, Mom sort of flipped, growing irritable and worried and all smothery-like. So Star took to coming to me first if she had a headache or something simple like that, and I'd slip her some Tylenol or whatever, keeping everything on the downlow so Mom wouldn't freak out. When some weighty matter overwhelmed me, I didn't go to my parents but to my sis. I didn't expect her to do anything, as she's six years younger than I and was even less equipped to deal with shit than I was, but I needed to talk to someone I could trust and she was the only one who fit the bill. We trusted one another, implicitly, and she's still the one I turn to for a wise, honest opinion, or with a question regarding a point of honor, or justice. And she turns to me for fashion advice (for some unknown reason).
So here's to Star and all her sisterly support; I don't know how I'd have made it through without you. In fact, I probably wouldn't have. <3
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Fellow bloggers, please check back on Thursday, as I've got a blogfest announcement in the works!