Guest Post by Beth O’Donnell
The funniest part of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is the gang comparing treats after every house they visited. Candy, gum, pennies.
“I got a rock.”
I know how you feel, Charlie Brown. Except I got soap. You were right about one thing, though: there is no Great Pumpkin. I found out the hard way that there is no Easter Bunny either.
Charlie Brown was a good brother, ridiculously overjoyed by his sister’s birth. I’ll stop likening us to Charlie Brown now, before we’re down to the lovable loser with no charm or athletic skills.
This might not be true for every PANK (Professional Aunt, No Kids) but I cherish being a sister more than auntie. I’m shocked and wounded when someone asks, “Do you have a family?” then corrects my “Yes” with, “I meant kids.”
My oldest sister, let’s call her Sally, because she is nothing like Lucy (and in case she reads this) got promoted to matriarch when my mother died, 30 years ago. However, maternal duties were thrust upon her before her First Communion. As a child, I did not like that very much. As a child, nor did she.
Then she got married at 21, moved out of the house and became a wonderful person. Loving, caring, protective. Nice even. Who knew? Not this little sister.
“Sally” exercises her maternal privilege to host all the major holidays. (NotMoms host Bastille Day.) Part of our sisterly bond is a shared preference for sweets. She exercises restraint. Me? Let’s just say living alone means the chocolate and peanut butter in Reese’s Minis constitute a balanced meal.
Sally has the good stuff, no matter what holiday: gigantic bags of Halloween candy; Great Pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving; Christmas cookies, Valentine’s Day chocolates; Easter jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, robin’s eggs, butter cream eggs, coconut cracked eggs… no book or DVD substitution crap for big Sis.
I can’t speak for the rest of my siblings—who cook and eat real food—but the goodies are a major incentive for getting me to drive to the suburbs, and I really need one. In my entire life, I only lived in the suburbs once, for seven months. I gained 15 pounds. Not going there again.
Truthfully, the reason I go is because I am the youngest. If Sally gets to be the Mom, I get to be the kid. Plus, with Sally, I don’t have to wear a mask. Or a sheet with eyeholes.
The last time I trekked to the other side of hell, my niece (31), her brother (28), and their respective soon-to-be-betrotheds, were both home—a rare occurrence. Shockingly, Sally didn’t fill Easter baskets. No dyed eggs (blech) even.
Easter is officially scarier than Halloween.