In the 1st and 2nd grade, my relationship with my twin sister, Cathy, was the one I remember the most. I mean of course it would be, with us being twins. We were compared often but not to the extent it would have been if we were identical. That probably was a saving grace. But, apart from not being in the same classes at school, we were together often mainly because of our activities and we also shared the same bedroom until we were about 10 or so. I was Miss Introvert and Cathy was Miss Extrovert – at least that’s what I remember, Cathy may remember the opposite. I kind of put myself into that box and it also felt comfortable at the time. But, as siblings do, we fought allot. I don’t remember “wining” very much because allot of the fights were physical and while I think I could have won a lot of them I gave in too quickly.
The fact that Cathy and I were twins turned out to be interesting not just for us, but for our teachers and our friends and probably others. I remember that Mom put us in ballet class during our young elementary years. For our annual ballet recital that we had for our families, Cathy and I were put in front of the other girls because we were the twins. I truthfully felt very uncomfortable about this. I always thought Cathy was better than I was too and felt like they were just being nice to me because I was her twin. Ah the life of twins.
My relationship with my Mom was good from what I could remember as a young child. She was really busy being a mom to all of us and I just thought she was great, but always busy! My mother was beautiful and I remember people telling my mother that she looked like “Jackie”. I had no idea who this “Jackie” person was. I was starting to realize that Jackie was one of the most famous women in America because she was the wife of the President of the United States. Whoever he was. But actually, my Mom did look like Jackie Kennedy. They were both beautiful. I saw pictures sometime of Jackie Kennedy on magazines and would look at my Mom and think they looked like sisters.
My Dad on the other hand was an enigma to me. Of course, I never used that word when I was a little girl because I never knew it existed but looking back that’s what he was. He would leave in the morning, Monday through Friday, and come back around 5 or 6. I couldn’t WAIT until he got back. He was always so happy to see us. He would walk in with his blue Air Force uniform on and take off his jacket and smile his big big smile. When he gave me a big hug he would always say “How is my Carolina in the Moon?” I never really got why he would address me that way because I was never at or in the moon but I didn’t care, it always felt much like a term of endearment to me…kind of like saying, “Caroline, I love you!”
Another thing I loved about my Dad was his stubbly facial hair he would let grow out on the weekends. I would love to rub my hand against it, or if I was sitting in my Dad’s lap or next to him I would ask him if I could rub my cheek on his cheek so I could feel his stubbly beard. I know it sounds weird but to this day it is a great memory. I remember when I hugged him often when he was an older man and if he hadn’t shaved that day I would put the palms of my hands against his face and feel the stubble. He would smile and I would smile and that would always mean “I love you Dad.” Nothing had to be said.