Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oriana the Only Child

For five whole years of life, Oriana Gray had been an only child. She didn't  have an older brother who teased her like her friend, Franny did. She didn't have a younger sister who took all her stuff like her friend, Lola did. She didn't have anyone to fight with over toys. She just had herself and Mommy and Daddy and their golden retriever, Skipper, and that was enough, and she was happy .

One day when Oriana was busy playing in her backyard with her dog,  her mother called to her. Oriana smiled and waved and went back to playing with Skipper. "Oriana!" her mother called again more insistently. "Come and sit down and talk to me." She sat down on the wicker couch outside their back door and motioned for Oriana to come sit beside her. Oriana reluctantly dragged herself over and sat down beside her mother. Skipper followed her and sat at her feet.

"I love you, Oriana." said Mommy kissing her.

"I love you too, mommy. "replied Oriana kissing her back and staring at her in a puzzling manner. Mommy didn't call her over just to tell Oriana she loved her, did she? Oriana knew her Mommy loved her.

 "You know I can love other people and still love you too, don't you?' asked Mommy. Oriana nodded. She was still puzzled. Mommy was sure acting strange.

"Wouldn't you like to be a big sister one day?" Mommy asked suddenly changing the subject and getting to what was really on her mind.

Oriana shook her head quickly and jumped out of her seat. "Oh no, Mommy." she said still shaking her head. "I love being an only child. I love having you and Daddy all to myself."

"But wouldn't you like to have a sister or brother one day." insisted Mommy.

"I have a sister. " said Oriana. Now, it was Mommy's turn to look puzzled. Oriana pointed to Skipper.

Mommy smiled. "Oh, but that's not the same." she said.

"It's good enough for me." replied Oriana.

"Would you like to have a brother or sister to play with?" Oriana shook her head. "Wouldn't you like to have a brother or sister to talk to?" Oriana shook her head again. "Wouldn't you like to have a brother or sister to keep you company?" Oriana shook her head again and went into the house crying. Her mother was crying too. She saw her father go outside to comfort her mother as she came in the house. She heard him tell her mother that everything would be okay, Oriana would get used to it. She would not get used to it! Oriana screamed silently. She loved her life with just herself and Mommy and Daddy. She didn't want to share it or them. Ever!

Of course, it was not really up to Oriana. Mommy and Daddy were going to have another baby. There was nothing Oriana could do about it. They couldn't make her like it though, and they couldn't make her happy about it.

She decided to pretend that the baby didn't exist and that she was not going to be a big sister. Every time,they talked about the baby, she left the room and when she couldn't do that she shut her ears. She wouldn't help them pick out clothes or toys. She wouldn't help paint the baby's room even though they painted it her favorite shade of yellow. Whenever anyone said "You are so lucky, you are going to be a big sister soon." or something like that she would say "No! I'm not." and quickly change the subject or leave the room.

Well, finally after nine months of ignoring the impending arrival of the baby, Oriana could ignore it no more. The baby was here. Grandma picked Oriana up at school to take her to the hospital to see Mommy and the baby. Daddy was already with them. Oriana tried to convince Grandma to take her anywhere but there. She told Grandma that she didn't really want to be a big sister and that nobody had asked her opinion.

Finally, Grandma had enough. "Oriana, " she said sternly. "Your Mommy loves you, and your Daddy loves you too and that will never change. Now, we are going to the hospital to see them, and you are going to smile and be good and behave yourself and not complain or give them a hard time. Do you hear me?" Oriana nodded. She knew better than to argue with Grandma when Grandma used that tone of voice.

They arrived at the hospital and went up to the maternity ward. When they entered Mommy's room Daddy scooped Oriana up in his arms. "Daddy!" she said excitedly. Daddy put her down on the bed beside Mommy. Mommy put the blanketed bundle she had been holding into Oriana's arms and put her arms around both of them.

"Oriana." she said cheerfully, "Meet your sister, Alyssa."

Oriana didn't want to look but she couldn't help herself. She peeked down at the tiny face inside the blanket on her lap. It was so cute and so helpless, and it seemed to be looking right up at her. Her heart melted, and for the first time she felt like just maybe this big sister sister stuff wouldn't be so bad after all. "Hi. Alyssa." she whispered "I'm your big sister, Oriana, and you might not care about that so much right now, but you'll get used to it. Just like I am."

No comments:

Post a Comment