Thursday, October 11, 2007


I write about a lot of things on this blog but have noticed that in the 252 posts I have only mentioned my sister, Shoshana, in seven of them. I find that to be very odd. Maybe it is because I am so protective of her that I don’t want to put Shoshana stuff out there for everyone to see. Maybe it is just because when we talk it is often in code and doesn’t make sense to other people. Either way, I think today is a good time to talk about her because today she is one quarter of a century old.

I remember running down the hall when she was being born. I remember holding her afterward and just being amazed at how much she was like me. I don’t remember the actual birth, it was probably too gross to remember or maybe I wasn’t in the room for that part.

She was a horrible baby. She was huge and mean and would push me off our mother’s lap when we were both trying to sit on it. I still loved her though. She got better as she got older, more fun to play with and easier to push back. You can’t go around pushing a baby when you are three. It’s just not right. She had this impish quality to her face and her eyes were always twinkling with mischievous intent. That quality hasn’t entirely left her. There is nothing quite as worrisome as Shoshana with a glint in her eye and a cackle on her lips. It means she will probably want me to do something. Or else that she just farted. She loves farting and general crass behavior but I don’t think she realizes that most people don’t. A weird one is that Shoshana.

She is the only extrovert in a family of introverts and sometimes that makes her incredibly annoying. She has these urges to go out and do things and has the energy of a ten year old. I would rather sit on my ass most of the time. I will say, however, that when I go to visit her she brings out the doer in me and when she comes to visit me I bring out the sitting on the couch and watching TV in her.

Some of my favorite Shoshana memories were while we were on summer vacations. We would watch MTV and The Box for hours and hours. We would play games and run around the yard. I would cook burritos for us for lunch. I would try desperately to make home friend potatoes but didn’t quite understand how long a potato had to cook and over what heat. I always made her eat what I made. I got better. Those were the days. There were also the days years later when I would come home form college and pass out in bed only to awaken to her snuggled up next to me. It creeped me out and I wanted to kick her but Shoshana has never been one to go light on the affection and I knew she just missed me.

We were always very close, even when fighting. We could always count on each other for some good game playing or Lego building. If I wanted to play Lego tomorrow she would be the first one I would think of. Unfortunately, she lives across the country and I don’t get the chance very often.

For her age, Shoshana has done quite a bit. I usually don’t think of her achievements as all that special because she’s my stupid little sister and so what. She has taught High School, worked as a community organizer, designed a new High School that opened in The Bronx, and most recently up and moved to LA to join Americorp and work with Habitat for Humanity. She’s made a difference to so many people in her life and is working on influencing more. She may even become a firefighter. I still can’t keep a straight face when I think of that prospect but if it is what she really wants I am sure she will make it happen. That’s the kind of kid she is. I’m proud of her. Even though I rarely say it I hope she always knows.

1. If this world were mine/ I would place at your feet/ all that I own/ You’ve been so good to me
2. I prayed to/ Heaven today/ Bring its hammer down on me/ And pound you out of my head/ I can’t think with you in there

3. I spend the afternoon in cars/ I sit in traffic jams for hours/ Don’t push me I am not ok

4. Fish heads/ Fish Heads/ Rolly polly fish heads/ Eat them up yum. Fishheads, Barnes and Barnes. Identified by Johnny Yen.

5. I am intrinsically no good/ I have a heart that’s made of wood/ And I am only biding time/ Only reciting memorized lines. The Hem Of Your Garment, Cake. Identified by Brooke.


Brooke said...

Oh man, I remember when #5 was our song! The Hem of Your Garment - Cake. How we loved that first line.

Yeah, I can't keep a straight face thinking of your sister being a firefighter either. Or thinking of her hauling 100 lbs of shit up and down her street in the Bronx.

Mom said...

Oh Natalie, thanks for writing that! It made me smile, laugh, grimace, and of course get all choked up. You are the best. So is your sister. I love you both hugely, hugely.

Sure wish I knew the official name and the performer of the "Fish Heads" song... Ha!

Johnny Yen said...

4 is "Fishheads" by Barnes and Barnes, one of whom was the actor Billy Mumy, the boy on "Lost In Space."

I guess we all know now who listened to Dr. Demento as a kid...

notfearingchange said...

Ah! That's the sweetest post.

dmarks said...

"4. Fish heads/ Fish Heads/ Rolly polly fish heads/ Eat them up yum"

Yes, I blogged about Bill Mumy's musical career a few months ago.

Katrina said...

Johnny Yen beat me to it. Love that song and still love listening to Dr. Demento. At least if I'm out in the late evening on Sunday's that is. As a kid we'd have him on while laying in bed.

Great post, very touching. Sounds like you two have a great relationship.

Natalie said...

Brooke- We just loved to sing that line in that voice. Man it was funny.

Mom- You are welcome but it wasn't for you, it was for Head.

Johnny Yen- I didn't know that. Very interesting.

Not Fearing- Thanks, I think sis liked it.

dmarks- I'll have to check that out. I don't know much about any other songs

Katrina- She is a good sister. I couldn't ask for anything more.

terry said...

what a sweet post.

i always wished i had a sister.

Greenman said...

That's a lovely post on your sister. She also has a birthday on my parents anniversary. Happy Birthday, Shoshanna!

Phil said...

Sorry, that Greenman was me. For my other blog.

Mom said...

Johnny, I didn't listen to Dr. Demento as a kid; and if Natalie did, she must've done it in secret. I was introduced to Fish Heads by a friend (named John, coincidentally) that I used to work with. More Bill Mumy trivia: he played one of the main characters on the sci fi show Babylon 5 a few years back. And recent photos on the Barnes and Barnes website were taken by Angela Cartwright, who was also on Lost in Space. (I was not a Lost in Space fan, btw... but was somewhat into "B5".)

Natalie, of course I knew it was for your sister and not for me! It still was touching, and I still am glad you wrote it. So there.

itisthelittlethings said...

What a lovely post. Think of all those things that those only children like me miss out on!
I'm so glad I had four children.

Kiyotoe said...

I can definitely relate to the rollercoaster ride that is being an older sibling.

I'm so happy that I never took him to the neighbors house and hid him under the porch like I threatened to way back when.