The Preciouses

On my last visit to Jenny's we sat around the kitchen table one morning eating and chatting. I looked over at Savannah and realized that she was watching me intently and copying my posture, with her elbow on the table and her chin in her hand. I switched positions and she followed me. We played the mirror game for several minutes before she started giggling, and it was all I could do not to run over there and scoop her up and kiss her all over her honey-smeared face.

Baby Ethan has become a cutie little flirt as well. When I lean toward him and say "Give me kisses" his response is to grab both sides of my head, pull me forward, and go to town on me. I wish there was some trick to getting grown-up boys to do that. I think this technique will serve him well later in life as long as he is dealing with consensual participants. I mean, seriously. Look how precious he is! Who wouldn't want some of that!

Things weren't always this blissful. Shortly after Jenny and Ed got engaged I had this phone conversation with my Mom.

Me: I'm trying to have a good attitude and not let this get to me.

Mom: Let what get to you?

Me: Um, the whole "my younger sister is getting married before me and I just broke up with the guy I thought I was going to marry and now I'm going to die alone and pitied" thing. I'm trying to not let that bother me.

Mom: Tsk. Well your father and I never thought that you were going to get married first. So that's just silly.

Me: Wow. Thanks for that.

Mom: That's not what I mean! I mean that we never thought there was some predetermined order for who was going to get married first.

Me: Well, I did though, because I'm used to always being first. So this is different for me.

Mom: Now that you mention it, wasn't there some kind of Church commercial about this? I think I saw one once.

[She is referring to the public-service commercials the LDS Church produces about the importance of family. In one such commercial from the 1980s a blushing young bride is being fussed over by her female relatives as she tries on her wedding veil. Her older sister (who looks about 21) can't take it and silently retreats to her bedroom in tears. Dad follows her up and tells her she's pretty and wonderful. And tells her to think about serving a mission since she's old and shriveled now. Only maybe I made that last bit up.]

Me: Yes, exactly! There was a commercial about it because it's a real thing!

Mom (dismissively) : You know, I think people in Utah just look for things to get worked up over.

Me: [inarticulate choking sounds]

So yes. Having younger siblings get married before you sucks. But it turns out that having nieces and nephews is the most fun ever--possibly better than having children of my own, because I can give them back when I want to be selfish again. It's also better than being a grandparent, because I get to be young and cool and the equivalent of a rock star. So to the girls out there who worry about this, take heart. All will be well.

Just find some way to mess with the happy couple's birth control if at all possible.


Sarita said... [reply]

Old and shriveled? I know that's the only reason I served a mission!

Only my younger sister got married and started having babies after I returned.

So know I have 3 married sisters to tell me how easy dating is and how they all know how I feel.

My answer? Dating at 19 is a tad different than at 27. But maybe thats just me....

Jenny said... [reply]

When I started reading the first line about how when I was engaged I about broke out into a cold sweat. But then it was all ok. I don't think you should start talking about tampering with people's birth control. It's not very nice.

Also, for the record, I have never told my sisters how easy dating is. EVER.

Scully said... [reply]

The inadequacy game doesn't end there, my friends. My younger brother and his wife of 11 months are outcasts in their ward because it is All About Having BABIES! Seriously, they have no friends and the Bishop gets up on the stand every Sunday and lauds all the new parents and at least two children get blessed every Fast Sunday. I have witnessed it and seeing 20-22 year old girls bear testimony about being good parents to their 2 children under two made me very, very glad that I am where I am. I just wish my s-i-l could ignore the pressure.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Ooooh, Sarita. Yeah. That's one thing that puts my teeth on edge. Also when the 20-yr-olds talk about how they're SO glad to be out of the dating game. And I'm like, "Yeah, cuz you were in it for all of 5 minutes. You have no idea what the trenches are, sweetie."

No worries, Jen. And yes, you are absolutely the opposite of a Smug Married.

Scully, you're true. I hope that if/when I'm in that situation I will have the moxie to tell people that I'm barren and thanks so much for bringing it up. Then watch smugly as they try to swallow their own feet. But yeah, that's really too bad about your poor brother and s-in-l.

Lindsay said... [reply]

What a lucky aunt you are! Those two are precious.

But I agree with you, Scully, the inadequacy doesn't end with marriage -- the pressure on young marrieds to reproduce is totally real. And totally annoying. And you don't even have to be in a Utah ward to feel it. I'll do my part to populate the nursury when I'm good and ready, thank you very much.

Spitfire said... [reply]

Yeah, dating totally sucks. That's why girls shouldn't start dating until they are 16 at the absolute minimum. Because by the time you are 23, you feel like you've already been doing this for like, 10 years...because you have been, unfortunately. Then every time you hear the "D" word you just want to kill yourself. Also, 23 is not very old, so it's sad to have such a bad perspective at such a young age. Not that I'm speaking from personal experience or anything.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Good points, Spitfire. Also girls shouldn't sneak around and lie to their parents about how they're not dating when in fact they are. Not that I have sisters with personal experiences or anything. ;-)

I love you, my sister!

Spitfire said... [reply]

Except that when you always tell boys "no, sorry I can't go out with you because I'm not sixteen," you honestly don't think you are dating. You are just "hanging out". Which, as we all have heard by now, is totally the wrong way to do things.

kristen said... [reply]

Amen on the younglings who get married at 19 and think it's all so easy.

Nem you crack me up. The trenches is a good metaphor.

Just wait until ALL your siblings are married. Then you get to go to family gatherings and sing that Sesame Street song to yourself: "One of these is not like the others".

Kristeee said... [reply]

The girls 2 years younger than me in YW all got married before I even turned 21. All 6 of them. I was so disgusted.

Savvy and Ethan are so fun! I think it's awesome that you're such an involved aunt.

Scully said... [reply]

It could be worse, Kristee, you could be going to the wedding receptions of girls who weren't even in YW when you graduated from high school. That was a black evening.

Rachel said... [reply]

That's why I'm glad I'm the youngest!

Kristeee said... [reply]

You're right, Scully, that would be worse. The worst I got was seeing a girl who had been one of my 1st year girls at camp when I was graduating get married before I did. I boycotted that reception.

Azúcar said... [reply]

So funny.

We were married 6 years before kids. We have lived in Utah our entire married life. We never heard one sniggle, one suggestion, one hint, or even one overt statement on the topic of when we should have children. I don't know which wards those young marrieds were attending, but ours were nothing like them! Which is kind of a shame, since I DO like to tell people things that make them swallow their own feet.

My siblings are all in the second half of their twenties now, and I as the oldest, was the only one married until last year.

My gorgeous 25 year old sister told me she was going to a birthday lunch for some of her high school friends. She then told me that she was the only one not married out of that group of friends. I laughed and told her not to worry because *huge secret* all her young married friends are most likely so jealous of my single and fabulous sister, they can hardly stand it.

Azúcar said... [reply]

p.s. One of the strangest moments I had was when my best friend's boyfriend broke up with her while she was on a two week business trip. She came back and he said, I'm breaking up with you because I've met the girl of my dreams and I'm getting married to her next month. (IN TWO WEEKS?!?)

Turns out the girl of his dreams? Previously mentioned little sister's best friend in high school. Little sister was still IN high school, although the friend had just graduated (two months prior to the grand event.)

We're still shaking our heads over that one.

chosha said... [reply]

azucar: you must live in a charmed part of the state. In every ward I've been in people immediately get asked when they're having kids the moment they're married, and I live far from Church HQ, in Australia.

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