It's hard being the baby of the family. Especially when the only playmates you're allowed to have is your own sibling and she's four years older than you. When I was just learning to walk Janet was getting ready to start school. When I was entering high school Janet was graduating and about to make her mark on the world. My whole childhood I had a path laid out before me by footsteps larger than my own. All I had to do was step into them.
So I did.
I don't think my sister ever realized how much I looked up to her. How much I admired her fire, her drive, her spirit to follow her own dreams without regard to the consequences. She was outgoing and had friends and I could never understand how she did it. The mere fact she took pity on a terribly shy kid so much younger than she and played many a toddler game when she really would rather have been climbing trees with our older brother put her on a pedestal in my eyes.
There was a bond forged in those younger years that carries over to today and can never be broken. Too many amateur singing engagements, entertaining the pretend troops listening from the grass in our front yard as we strutted our stuff down the sidewalk. Too many tea parties on the front porch where Janet pretended to like playing with her younger sister when she could have been curled up somewhere with a good book.
But it was the game we played on our back steps which holds a special place in my memories. I'm sure Janet was the one who created the game but the Witching Hour was a way to be transported to a magical place outside the realm of our otherwise sad existence. As we laid on those steps and conjured up a world of witches and warlocks, we began our training in storytelling which I know is the foundation of all I am able to do as a writer today.
I can't tell you how the game was played or even how long we would allow the magic to swirl around us but I DO remember how special it made me feel. For one solitary moment in my childhood I could be as brave as my big sister and slay the demons in front of me. No, I'm sure Janet never realized back then how much it meant to me to have her take the time to hang out with me.
But now she does...