Now a few weeks ago, Hannah told you guys some stories about her little sister Sarah. The post was heartwarming and genuine, and it inspired me to dedicate a little something to my own pain in the butt. She’s tiny with big blue eyes and a radical overbite. When we go out to dinner and let her order whatever she wants, she asks for “the cookie.” You can always tell where she’s been in the house because she leaves behind a pile of half-dressed Barbie’s.
Her name is Norg, and she’s the best birthday present I’ve ever had.
A human as a birthday present sounds a little bizarre, but let me give you some back story. For the first ten years of my life I was the oldest of four children, and the only girl. Growing up with three brothers gave me the ability to pitch a baseball and an appreciation for Nerf guns, but I was left underdeveloped in other areas. I never got to watch Lizzie McGuire or other such Disney channel classics. All of my Barbie’s were mutilated. There was camaraderie and fighting and numerous wiffle ball games, but I never had a sister who’s hair I could play with. (Tom once offered to grow out his hair so I could have a sister, but eventually we figured out how genders work. Still, I appreciated the offer.)
Our lives screeched to a halt two days after my tenth birthday when Nora showed up, five weeks early. My mom’s water broke at a hair salon in the middle of the afternoon; Norg was waiting for no one. Aunts and uncles warned me I’d never have a birthday all to myself anymore, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the incredibly small person that fit into the crook of my elbow. She was perfect, she was tiny and beet red, and she was mine. I remember looking down at her and thinking, I didn’t know I could love something this much.
By the time we took her home, we came to the conclusion that she was a pretty lame baby. She slept like 90% of the time, (I guess premature babies sleep even more than normal babies,) and we couldn’t feed her or hold her too much because she was fragile. Being born into a family with four older siblings, she was probably the single most loved thing on the planet. One day in July we were swimming outside when my dad leaned his head out the window and called to us that Nora had opened her eyes; she was awake! We all scrambled over the sides of the pool and into the house to look. But four dripping wet children cooing in her face just made her cry, so we were sent away.
Though I loved Norg through her lame phase, I really wanted to know when she would start to be my sister. When could I feed her baby food and push her on the swing? When could I start dressing her? The only things that fit her were weird pajamas. When could I start doing her hair?? She really needed to grow some more hair.
And eventually Norg did grow up into a person who doesn’t sleep all day. Now she’s nine and killing it in the third grade. She takes gymnastics and figure skating lessons and plans to go to the Olympics in either one or both events. She wants to be a school guidance counselor when she grows up so she can help kids when they’re sad. She’s pretty uncoordinated, but she still seems to dance rather than walk. She’s really into Frozen.
And I still can’t believe that I could love someone this much. (These pictures really capture her essence.)
And even though we created games over the years like “Poke Nora Until She Screams” and given her nicknames like “Norg,” and bounced her so high on the trampoline that she flew over the net, she’s still one of the most loved humans on planet Earth. And Norg, if you’re reading this, then I just have one thing to say.