My Sister and the Goats

Once upon a time, my mom was pregnant. I mean REALLY pregnant. My brothers (who are older than I - one was 20 and married and the other one was 18 and preparing for college) and I were anxious to for this new family addition to arrive.

For the previous two summers my mom had gone to summer camp and been my cabin counselor. Not this time. At the age of 9, I went to camp alone. Half way through my week at camp, one of the girls in my cabin broke out in chicken pox. It was GREAT, it meant I got bumped up to the teenagers cabin. That was the best part of camp. What nine year old girl doesn't want to spend time with teenage girls?

I got home and on a Monday morning (41 years ago today) my father came in to wake me up with the news that my new brother or sister was finally going to arrive! However, one look at me sent him out of the room. I got up and upon a look in the mirror saw the situation. I was covered in chicken pox!

Arrangements had been made for me to go stay with some family friends who lived in the country. They were an older couple who were raising their teenage granddaughter. My dad made a phone call and they were fine, just a change in plans. Instead of staying the day or maybe one night, I now got to spend 3 or 4 days instead! In those days (back in the day as my daughter says), it was thought I couldn't be around my mom or a new baby at all. So I spent the days out in the country being pampered by family friends. The news came that I had a new baby sister (Happy Birthday Cheryl!), but I couldn't see her. The consolation prize? I got to pick alfalfa grass and feed the baby goats!

Eventually the doctor said my sister would carry my mother's immunities for six months and I could come home. Cheryl was a beautiful baby with a head full of black hair and I felt like she was a living baby doll. But I couldn't play with her since she wasn't really a doll, goats were more fun!

Happy Birthday Cheryl!

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