When I was 15, I was present in the delivery room as my baby sister was born.
A nurse of Julia Child stature pressed on my mother’s belly in all sorts of uncomfortable looking ways because Meghann was face up instead of face down and this woman thought she could manually manipulate the already stubborn baby into facing the right direction. When that didn’t work, they pulled out this vacuum cleaner thing and attached it to her wee little skull to twist her into compliance. She was born with such a huge lump on one side of her head that she easily resembled the devil.
Talk about the best form of birth control ever. No high school boy stood a chance with me after I witnessed that 28 years ago today, when the world finally granted me a real life baby doll I could dress up to my heart’s content.
I was a sophomore when Meghann Channing burst so dramatically into my life. For my girlfriends and me, her arrival meant we had a new mascot. We brought her with us to school-sponsored events. We took her to the mall. She sometimes even came with me when I went to hang out with my friends. She did sit out my prom but later inherited my prom dress as a costume. She found it funny to call me “mommy” out in public just to see the reaction on the faces of passersby.
(I did not find that part of early sisterhood so amusing.)
She was only three years old when I left for college and was already a budding gymnast who later turned cheerleader. (Sorry, Mom, if that was my influence). From the beginning of her life, she’s had a heart of gold. There’s no man, woman, child or puppy dog whose aid Meghann won’t jump to provide. She gives a killer foot massage and is an expert cupcake baker. Perhaps because she’s the baby of the family, she relates to kids like nobody’s business. My boys and their cousins love Auntie Meghann.
And I love her too. I think we’ll keep her even though her entry into this world stunted my foray into teenage dating.
Happy birthday, baby sister! May you always be faced in the right direction.