My Dysfunctional Family

It was July 3rd, 2001, my mom was pregnant with my little sister. We lived in a small townhome in Thornton, Colorado, in a neighborhood we called the Shilohs. I don’t know whether it was actually called The Shilohs or if we just called it that because it had Shiloh in the name. My mom was making pancakes, when I asked her what we were going to name the baby. “What about Julia?” She asked. I was five years old, and I thought she said Jewerlya. I insistently thought about all the different types of jewelry, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, just about anything shiny and pretty. “Jewerlya? That’s a pretty name!” I exclaimed, with a big smile on my face. At the time I thought Jewerlya was such a pretty name, but now when I think about it, it just sounds stupid.

The next day, July 4th, my mom, my little sister Briana, and I were in the living room. My mom was on the phone and my sister and I were watching tv. When my mom got off the phone she told my sister and I that her friend Debbie and son Austin were coming over to visit us, all the way from Massachusetts. My sister and I were so excited, for a second, we forgot about our soon-to-be new baby sister that our mom was pregnant with. My sister and I went to the backyard. We started talking about how excited we were. Then, we made up this game that still makes me cringe every time I think about it, but at the time we thought it was hilarious. We were only five and two years old, so of course this game we made up was so cringey. We called it the toilet game. It was a game where we would list a bunch of different items to put in the toilet. “Dogs in the toilet, cats in the toilet!” I said. “Toys in the toilet!” Briana said. We were having so much fun and laughing the whole time. We thought that Austin would probably like this game too. After a little while, Debbie and Austin came over and Austin went to the backyard. Our mom probably told him that we were playing there. Austin entered the room and Briana said, “Doggies in the toilet!” “What?” Austin said all confused, and laughed. I blushed because I was embarrassed. Maybe this was a stupid game, and he wouldn’t like it, I thought. “Oh it’s just this stupid game we made up.” I explained. “Can I play?” Austin asked. “Sure,” I said. “How do you play?” He asked. “You just list a bunch of stuff to put in the toilet, but you don’t actually put them in there. You just imagine it.” I described. “Sounds like fun!” Austin exclaimed. So Austin ended up really liking this game just as much as my sister and I did. He was three, almost four years old, so of course he enjoyed our cringey childish game.

That same day, our moms were taking us to the park. Austin and I played the toilet game in the car, the whole ride there, while Briana took a nap. “Frogs in the toilet!” Austin yelled. “Fish in the toilet!” I screamed. “Snakes in the toilet!” Austin exclaimed. “Shoes in the toilet!” I cried. “Guns in the toilet!” Austin yelled. “Bombs in the toilet!” I screamed. “Toilets in the toilet!” Austin and I laughed as hard as we could. We finally made it to the park after a long car ride. Austin, Briana, and I played there for a while. Briana tried to get us to play the toilet game, but Austin and I refused because we both agreed that it was more of a car game. After playing at the park for a few hours, we drove home. Austin, Briana and I played the toilet game again on our ride home. “Oh no, not the toilet conversations again!” My mom said annoyed.

When we got home my dad was home from work, and he was about to set off the fireworks in our front yard for the Fourth of July. My dad set off the fireworks, and we sat on the bench on the porch while we watched. I could still picture the beautiful fireworks. The bursts of green, purple, blue, orange, red, and gold. It was the most memorable Fourth of July ever!

The next day, my parents weren’t home and Briana was crying. “Where’s mommy and daddy?” Briana cried. Debbie picked up Briana and put her head on her shoulder to cry on. “Oh, its okay baby. They’re just at the hospital because your sister is going to be born.” Debbie kissed Briana’s head, trying to calm her down. “Can we see them?” I said. “Of course you could see them! We could go drive there right now.” Debbie said. Debbie drove Austin, Briana, and I to the hospital so we could meet our new baby sister. We waited in the waiting room, until a doctor told us that it was okay for us to come into my mom’s hospital room to meet my new baby sister! I walked into the room and I saw my mom and my dad. My mom was in the hospital bed holding my new baby sister. “Is her name Jewerlya?” I asked my mom. “Yes, her name is Julia.” My mom answered. My sister was born at about 1:17 pm, on July 5, 2001, and she was 7 pounds. I remember the exact outfit that I was wearing that day. I was wearing a white shirt with Mickey Mouse heads on it, and each Mickey Mouse head was a different color of the rainbow. I was also wearing a white jumper with pink, purple, yellow, and blue flowers on the middle. A jumper is like the dress version of overalls. I was wearing white sandals with two flowers on each sandal, one blue flower and one green flower, and my hair was in two high pigtails that Debbie made. My sister was so small she was so cute like a baby pig. Her eyes were squinted like all newborn babies eyes are. “Wow, she’s way smaller than Briana when she was a baby!” I said in surprise. “That’s because she’s a newborn. Newborn babies are always so small,” my mom explained. “Briana was a fat baby!” I said. Everyone laughed. “She wasn’t fat she was just chubby and healthy,” my mom said. “Mommy, can I hold her?” I asked. “Sure,” my mom answered. I sat on the hospital bed next to my mom and she put my new baby sister in my arms so I could hold her. I remember her eyes opening, her mouth was opened, and she was moving her tongue like what newborn babies do. “Hi, Jewerlya!” I said to the baby, “I’m your big sister, and you’re my new baby sister.” “I tot I was your baby sista?” My two year sister, Briana said. Debbie was holding her. “You are, but now you have a new baby sister to play with, and your mommy and daddy still love you even though you’re not the baby anymore.” Debbie told Briana. “Yes, we still love you, Briana and Savana too,” my mom said. “I’m not the baby anymore?!” Briana cried. Debbie wasn’t holding Briana anymore, and Briana ran over to hug our dad. My dad picked up Briana and sat her on his lap. “You're still our baby,” my dad said and kissed Briana’s head. “You’ll always be our baby,” my mom said, “and so will Savana. Now we have three babies to love.”

Ever since then, my sister Briana was always jealous of our sister Julia. She would bully her, almost like she used to bully me, except she was older than Julia so it was different. When Briana was a toddler she would pull my hair, hit me with her bottle, and throw things at me. When Julia was five and Briana was seven, she once grabbed Julia by the head and banged her head against the dollhouse for no reason. Now that we’re older, she doesn’t bully Julia anymore. We all don’t fight anymore, and we’re best friends. We were always best friends, even as kids, even though we used to fight, but that’s just what siblings do sometimes. It’s funny because I remember that as kids we used to fight and it was usually because of some disagreement we had when we were playing with our dolls. When we got older, and stopped playing with dolls we stopped fighting.

It’s been 17 years since my sister Julia was born, and 10 years since we left our dad from Colorado. As I remember the day my sister was born, I also remember that my mom told my sisters and I that at the time she almost thought our dad wasn’t going to be there for my sister’s birth. He would usually come home late from work or he wouldn’t come home at all until the next day. She said he wasn’t really there enough during her pregnancy, but he was there for Julia’s birth like he was there for all his children’s births. Knowing my dad, I know that he wanted to be there for all our births. He loves my sisters and I, he just doesn’t know how to show it sometimes. I’m sure he still loves our older half brother too, even though he left him when my brother was two. I don’t know the whole story, but I’m guessing him and my brother’s mom had issues. I know my dad still loves my sisters and I. I still love him even though I know he’s not perfect. No family is perfect though. I’m not sure if my sisters still love my dad though. They blame him for our parents divorce, which I don’t blame them for doing that. It’s been 10 years since we’ve seen our dad, not because we don’t want to see him. It would just be expensive for my sisters and I to go fly there together. Anyways my point is, it’s been 10 years since we’ve seen our dad and we barely ever text each other. We don’t really keep in touch anymore. My sisters never text my dad. I was the only one whoever texted him, mostly just to say happy birthday or happy father’s day. This year I decided not to text my dad happy father’s day because he forgot my birthday. Not only that, he forgot my sisters’ birthdays too. He usually remembers, but I don’t know why this year he forgot. It doesn’t really bother me as much as I make it seem. A lot of people don’t remember my birthday, even though I remember a lot of people’s birthdays. I just didn’t feel like saying happy father’s day to my dad this year since he forgot my sisters and I’s birthdays. I still love him and I know that we will see him again. It’s just that it’s been 10 years and he’s never even tried to make an effort to see us. It usually doesn’t bother me that much that I haven’t seen my dad in years. Now that it’s been 10 years it just really hit me this time. I see now why my older half brother disowned him. Anyways, enough about my dad. I also wish that I could finally meet my older half brother someday. I don’t know much about him except that his name is Freddie. His name used to be George, named after my dad Jorge, who always liked to be called George. My brother’s mom renamed him after his stepdad, Freddie. I used to be friends with my brother on Facebook, but we’re not friends anymore. I’m guessing it’s because of that one time I messaged him asking if we could video chat sometime, and get to know each other. I don’t take it personally though. I think he just didn’t want to get to know me because maybe he thought I’d try to get him in contact with our dad, which was not my intention at all. He’s still friends with my sister Briana on Facebook though. I follow Freddie on Instagram, he doesn’t follow me back, but I look at his stories sometimes. Freddie graduated from college and he’s a real estate agent now. I know this because it says so on his Facebook and Instagram. He’s very wealthy too now because of it. He has a red Ferrari, or at least I think it’s a Ferrari. I don't really know much car names, maybe it just looks like a Ferrari to me. He also lives in a penthouse. I know this because he has his address on his Instagram profile. Maybe I will finally meet Freddie someday. I’ve always wanted an older brother, but instead I’m stuck with an annoying younger half brother named Aaryn, and my two younger sisters. I love my brother Aaryn. Little brothers are just annoying sometimes. I just can’t wait until he’s like 10 and he could do everything by himself. I just thought I’d include Aaryn in the story, since I included everyone else. I plan on going to California someday and meet Freddie. I’d let him know that I’d be in California and ask to meet up with him somewhere. I wouldn’t just show up at his door just because I have his address. I’m not a stalker. I hope that someday I will be as successful and inspirational as my brother Freddie. Yeah, so that’s my family. It’s not perfect, it’s dysfunctional actually, but it’s my family and I love every single one of them.