April 1967: My mom went into hospital to have a baby. I already had 2 younger brothers and 2 older male cousins next door; it was time for a sister. However, when my mom phoned from the hospital, I was told that I had another baby brother instead.
“A brother? Noooo, it just isn’t fair,” I said. I felt that the doctors had to change him for a girl, or why couldn’t the stork bring me a sister rather? (In those days we were told that the stork brought babies)
I was adamant that there were enough boys in the family already. I was the only girl and it just wasn’t fair. I don’t think she knew how to answer me because I just wasn’t calming down. Soon after, dad went to fetch her, and they came home with the new bundle of joy. I soon grew to love the new arrival, and I would even help mom with him. However, I still wanted a sister.
The following year my aunt next door gave birth to a little girl, finally there was another girl in the family. I spent as much time as I could by their house. If I couldn’t have a baby sister, then a cousin had to be the next best thing. Despite my sentiments towards my baby brother when he was a child, I rely on him a lot today. He helps me with repairs around the house and he is also generous with his time. (He is quite handy like my dad was, and like my other 2 brothers are, but unfortunately my husband is not). As for my cousin, she now lives in Sicily with her family. In short, I love my baby brother and I would not trade him for the world.
by Grazia Martienssen