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Archive for November 26, 2012

unraveling the layers

< by Ann, Jill‘s big sister >

Upon meeting a seasoned Minnesotan like myself, people who know nothing about Minnesota reliably
quip, “It’s cold there.” Our mother agreed with this oft-repeated fact and was acutely aware of the
need to protect her two daughters from Minnesota’s wintry winds and frigid temperatures.

As sister and I prepared for the bus stop, our mom would wrap itchy wool scarves around our necks and
heads. I’d begrudgingly grumble, “Mom, seriously?!? Why are you torturing me? I’m not going to get
THAT cold at the bus stop. This is huMILLLLiating.” She would give me the “I’m your mother and I know what’s best for you” smile as she kept wrapping.

Sister, however, welcomed the layers our mom piled upon us. “Mom,” she would dramatically begin, “I
really appreciate that you desire to protect my delicate skin from Mother Nature’s harsh and bitterly
biting elements.”

With mere slits of my eyes exposed, I’d glare at sister with disdain for her daily schmoozing.

She’d continue, “Mommy, this scarf makes me feel like you are hugging me. Just think, without you, I’d
probably be missing at least three fingers because of frostbite. ”

I’d pretend to barf. As I stomped out to the bus stop, I’d shudder at the prospect of being seen by my
peers in this mummified dressing.

As sister walked out the door she’d predictably sing, “Mom, I love you. I think you are beeYOUtiful.
Good bye.”

At the bus stop we would stand. I, the difficult child, felt sullen. Sister, however, would glance back at
the window and when our mother wasn’t looking sister would frantically peel off her extra layers. With
her gear strategically stashed in a snow bank and her head bare to the elements, only an impish grin
adorned her face. Now who was the difficult child?