I don't just expect Alexis to be a good big sister, I demand it. That kid spent years spreading layers of guilt as she begged for a sibling. You can't beg for something and then be like, "Meh. I'm good," and walk away from it.

Fortunately, Alexis meant every syllable of that begging. She truly, deeply loves being a big sister. It's impossible to imagine what her life would have been like if she had stayed an only child because she was definitely meant to be a sibling. Every moment of her existence is a little bit better because Mila is there to follow her around.

And steal her things.

Mila doesn't get new things. There's no reason to buy her toys because I live with hoarders and all of Alexis' toys are still here. Fortunately, Alexis is totally cool with giving Mila all of the things she's outgrown.

And, uh ... things she hasn't outgrown.

Mila worships Alexis. It's a fact. But, I'm not entirely sure if Mila doesn't also worship Alexis' stuff. She has been making it a daily habit to go "shopping" in Alexis' bedroom and claim things as her own. So far she has stolen a blanket, about seven stuffed animals, and a shirt.

I know; the shirt doesn't make sense. It's not like 3-year old Mila can magically wear clothes for a sixth grader. Go ahead and try to tell Mila that. By the way, she has the shirt hidden in her bed. The bed she doesn't sleep in.


One of the stuffed animals is the point where Mila went too far, though. When we went to Cedar Point a few weeks back, Alexis played a game and won a big stuffed monkey and MAN, SHE WAS SO HAPPY. It was the first time she had ever won a game at a place like that and she was super proud of herself. And then she managed to hold the stuffed animal for about two minutes before Mila decided it was hers.

Alexis was cool about it. Mostly she was cool about it because she was going on rides anyway, but also she was pretty sure Mila would be over the whole thing by the end of the night. She thought she was going to get her monkey back.

She still hasn't gotten her monkey back.

I was complimenting Alexis on how she has handled the whole thing because seriously. She's such a trooper when her kid sister steals stuff. It turns out there's a reason, though ...

"It's okay. When I move out in seven years, I'm going to take all my stuff back and she won't be able to stop me."


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This Kid's Got Style

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Better Off Forgotten

It's odd the things that stick with you across the decades.

I first read that our individual memories about the events of 9/11 are likely not completely accurate several years ago. While our collective memories are probably pretty spot on, details about what we were doing or who we were with and such get lost. It's been proven over and over again that even though we work hard to remember, there are parts of the day that are lost.

I can say with certainty that my memory goes back pretty accurately for 11 years -- I blogged about where I was and such on the 5th anniversary. But the pieces that fell away during that 5 years can't be picked up. I only remember the gist of phone conversations and the entire evening is lost in the darkness. Which hotel did I stay in that night? In what city? I'm not certain.

What is certain is that I was in Boston for work. I had meetings in the morning with accountants and such about a systems integration, and then training for that new system scheduled for the afternoon. By the time I reached the office, the first tower had already been hit. Of all the things that stick with me to this day, a little conversation from when I first arrived at the office keeps sticking.

And sticking.

I walked towards a desk and spoke with a few women. I commented about how it was such an awful day. One replied, "I know. I can't believe we have to reenter all of these journal entries."

I knew immediately she didn't know that a plane had flown into a tower. I knew she didn't have any idea what was happening outside of the walls of the office. But while I fully recognized that her words weren't coming from a place of callousness, they felt cold and heartless.

To this day, I often wonder if she remembers the exchange. I wonder if it gives her pause. I wonder if she wishes she could take her words back, a little like I often wish I could forget them.