By all accounts, there should be no doubt I am royalty.
After all, I was my parent’s firstborn.
Their pride and joy.
Unmistakable, in their eyes, of beauty and grace.
I could do no wrong.
Being the firstborn to my parents also bestowed upon me the title of “First Born” to both my maternal and paternal grandparents.
Let’s face it; I was a Super Star!
Eight months following my debut, I received the gift of a cousin.
She and I were not alike.
She had hair of red, with a pale complexion, and her size-tiny enough to fit in a shoebox.
I was fluffs of brown hair, pink skin and I imagine at the time of her entrance, relatively chubby–though make no mistake, adorable!
It would take four years before I became a big sister and a few more months beyond that for a cousin to arrive from my mother’s side.
I didn’t mind.
I loved the attention.
Here we are, present time; three siblings, and three cousins later.
I still hold the title of First Born, but something has gone unexpectedly wrong.
I’m no longer a superstar…I seem to blend in or be forgotten.
Unlike Kate Middleton, I didn’t have the opportunity to marry a real-life Prince.
Instead, I just went with the notion that I was a real-life first-born princess born into a kingdom.
Someday I’d wear the crown of Queen.
I was greeted with a grouchy, “I’m saving that cake for when friends and family come by!”
Hmmm….firstborn and suddenly when there’s cake involved I’m out of the picture…no longer family and not even considered a friend.
Who the heck am I?
Let’s jump to cousin number three and the tale of my maternal grandmother.
She is my best friend, and I love the woman very much.
Cousin number three recently graduated from High School and enlisted in the military.
My grandmother has raised him.
Grandma mentions his boot camp graduation is coming up and it’s on the East Coast.
Last week Grandma called to tell me she’s going to the graduation.
She’s whining about how much it costs.
I listen; as a good friend should, and when I hear Cousin #2 and his wife (whom my grandmother lives with) are going with her…I step up my game…”I thought you were going to talk to me about the road trip if you decided to go to the graduation.”
Grandma heaved a heavy sighed, copped out with “it all happened so fast.”
“Of course I am. They don’t have any money!” was her answer.
“Wow. I would have really loved to have gone with you. (My cousin #3) called me “Other Mother” and he and my boys played together growing up, not to mention I’d have loved to have seen my family.”
No amount of back paddling would save Grandma, and she knew this.
She still tried.
She apologized, and I did what I was raised to do and told her the truth, “I am hurt.”
Which caused her to start crying and nearly broke my heart, but I was/am hurt.
She tried to reason, “Well, they love (Cousin #3), and they think of him as theirs too.”
I countered, “I lived two houses from you for seven years, where were they? I never saw (Cousin #2 or his wife) them. Not in all those years. Nor did you mention they came by to visit you. Cousin #3 was at my house every day, my boys had sleepovers with him, I did Scouts with him. He lived with me for a month!”
Out of character, Grandma called me that night.
She told me how sorry she was and then offered to take me out to breakfast.
She bought my cousin and his wife a vacation, and I get a ten-dollar meal?
First Born is an excellent title.
We appreciate your subscription to Mommy’s Memorandum