Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Saturday, September 2, 2017

Short-Term Sister

Mom, third from left, and five of her eight brothers.
Her 'baby sister' Roy, alias Rosie, is far left.

A selection from my Mom's journals

This was my Mom's favorite story . . .
Being the only sister near the middle in a family of eight brothers, I found myself competing with the boys and growing up as a 'Tom Boy'.
I was athletic and could run as fast, jump as high and throw as far as my brothers.
I milked cows, drove and rode horses as well as the boys.
As the fourth in the family, I often considered myself the fourth brother.
In spite of this, I yearned for a sister, sharing my mother's yearning for another daughter.
By the time I was five, I had three new, small brothers but still no sister.
My prayers unanswered, I seemed destined to be alone in a mob of boys.
My little brothers seemed more cooperative and trusting than my older brothers; maybe little brothers could substitute as sisters? I decided to try to make one my little brothers into a little sister. Perhaps if I dressed them up in girls' clothes, they would pass as sisters. I rummaged through Mama's trunk and found an old dress and a bonnet with lace trimming.
Armed with these frillies, I looked about for a likely prospect.
Roy, the fifth brother and three years my junior, seemed the best choice. I approached him where he was playing in the yard.
"Roy, come and see what I have here."
He came willingly after I promised him a cookie.
We went upstairs where I slipped him into the dress, tied the belt and put on the lace bonnet, all the time crooning how nice he looked - so very nice. I gave the dress a tug to cover grubby clothes and ankle-height shoes.
I called my new little sister Rosie, my favorite name at the time.
For a while we played games that I supposed girls would play. We played with dolls and improvised a tea party including the promised cookie.
We were having such a good time, just us girls.
It was wonderful having a beautiful little sister.
Finally, I thought and I and my little sister should go for a walk to see the cats and the farm animals which would be frolicking about outside.
I took Rosie by the hand and for several blissful minutes, I led her around the yard, describing all the interesting features of our farmyard and garden.
Luckily, we did not encounter any brothers with their taunting giggles and snorts.
Suddenly a car came into the yard.
 The spell was broken. Rosie, reverting to Roy, leapt into the air and shot like a rocket toward the house.
As the passengers poured out of the car, they were surprised to see what looked like a human tornado, shedding clothes as it sped to the nearest hideaway.

13 comments:

  1. But what a great little kid he was to go along with for so long.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was a good little brother. Well . . . until he grew up enough to talk back . . . ;)

      Delete
  2. I agree with Delores! Although that cookie probably helped a bit :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Cookie Incentive. Sounds like a movie!

      Delete
  3. I was the only girl - but the youngest. None of my brothers would ever have been as accommodating as Roy/Rosie. And I would still like a sister.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a photo somewhere of my youngest son similarly dressed up by his sisters for some game they were playing. He was three or four at the time.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wonder how many mothers with only little sons have tried to hold tea parties with them....just wondering.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I only had one sibling, a younger brother and for a long time I dressed him up in doll clothes! Thankfully he's since forgiven me! :-) Sweet blog post!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I used to do that to my little brother all of the time. I too was an only girl only I only had 4 brothers. Gee, I've never used "only" to describe having 4 brothers before!

    ReplyDelete
  8. So cute! Love that you have your mother's journal. Very special.

    ReplyDelete

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