My youngest sister. She is a princess. “High maintenance” doesn’t even begin to describe her. She is pretty, smart and very good in a social setting. She will always surprise me with random acts of kindness, then she balances them out with random acts of meanness. She’s married to Tomás, and has one child (David). To know her is to fear her. Did I mention that she’s an elementary school principal? We have a complicated relationship. But then, I have a complicated relationship with every member of my family. Arianna can be my biggest supporter, or my worst enemy. And, as a true sister, she knows exactly which buttons to press to get any reaction she wants. Of course, I know that same thing about her. It’s an good balance.
Brother-in-law extraordinaire. He’s a nice guy. He has managed to make the most difficult female in my world a very happy woman (my little sister Arianna). I’m nominating him for sainthood.
I am “working” the conference, being paid to attend. I have to admit that I was very negative about the whole thing. The last thing I wanted to do was spend three days in a “cheerleading” conference where someone (or several someones) told a room full of people how great they could be if they just did things differently. But now … I have drunk the kool aid.
I am great.
I will be successful.
I will do better.
Just watch and see.
David is my youngest sister Arianna’s baby (also Tomas’). He is 8. He is beautiful. Like his cousin Adam (my other nephew), he has dimples and a killer smile. He is brilliant in a Sheldon-from-Big-Bang kind of way. Yes, that is a little scary. He never reacts the way I expect. And he hasn’t grown out of that, I don’t expect he ever will.
I look at the phone, trying to talk myself into the call I know I need to make.
“I won’t! I won’t!” cries the two-year-old in my head. She is, I’m sure, holding an ice cream cone that’s dripping down one side with ‘splat! splat!’ sounds while making a petulant scowl. “I don’t hafta!”
“It wasn’t my fault! I didn’t do this! Why should I be the one to fix it?” huffs the angermonster who is supposed to be locked up but is actually roaming around, bumping into everyone else. “I will not be the person to take the blame!”
“Are they going to be mad at us?” asks the anxious teeny-bopper from somewhere behind everyone else. She’s already hiding, trying to avoid the consequences that are sure to follow.
“Maybe if we’re really polite, if we’re really sorry, they won’t yell,” says the sunny girl twirling around with daisies clutched in her hands.
They’re all talking at once. The Voice of Reason is, of course, silent.
I did, eventually, pick up the phone.