Betty. That’s what mom says we’re going to call you. But hey, we have another three months until you are expected to grace us with your presence, so who knows. You might be a Lizzie, or a Beth, or a Liz, or not even an Elizabeth at all by the time you actually come around. That’s the first thing you will learn about Mom. Her first idea is never the one she sticks with. She will change her mind a dozen times before she decides on a final idea. But once she does decide on that final idea, she is like a rock wall and there is no changing her from that point out. It makes growing up with her very interesting.
Anyways. I’m your sister, Freddy, and yes that is short for Winifred. Yes, our mother named me Winifred. Even if you are a Betty, be grateful that you are not a Winifred. I am your big sister. (Forgive me for this explanation, I’m sure that by the time you are old enough to read these letters, you will know who I am, but it feels weird to write to you without introducing myself). So, I am Winifred Margaret McClintock, but you will always call me Freddy if you know what is good for you. Even mom doesn’t call me Winifred anymore. I’m 20 in a few days. Apparently, my birthday present is the belated announcement that I’m going to have a little sister. Mom swears she told me when she found out months ago, but I’m pretty sure that would have been something I remember hearing about, no matter how stressed with school work I was at the time.
The thing is, I always wanted to be a big sister. I thought I might be pretty good at helping my siblings learn the little tricks and we could team up against Mom, and they could come to me with all the questions that they didn’t want to trouble Mom about, or that mom wouldn’t give them straight answers to.
Of course, now that I’ve been out of the house for two years, and live a solid six hours away from home a majority of the year, Mom gives me the sibling that I always wanted. And who knows where I’ll be when I finish school and head into the work force.
So, I’m writing these letters, partly to document the last trimester of Mom’s pregnancy, and partly to act as a surrogate sister since I cannot be here on a day-to-day basis for you. These letters will contain little things I think you should know, tricks about growing up in Mom’s house, and other random facts that I will bestow upon you as your big sister.
So, things you need to know right away. These are the thing I struggled with most of my life, and if I can’t completely eliminate your struggle, maybe I can limit it for you. I’ve got two main things. Number One: you were unexpected, and you were unplanned—but in no way shape or form unwanted. I’ve already said how badly I wanted to have a little sibling, and Mom already loves you with all her heart. Yes, I am aware that she shows her love in very strange ways, but she does love you nonetheless. Number Two: No one knows who your father is. I’m sorry about that. Had I still lived at home when Mom got knocked up, I could give you a list of potentials, but sadly I stopped keeping track of Mom’s—uh—dates let’s say, when I moved out. You could ask Mom for a list, but it will do you no good. The list of men she gave me she either saw after I was already born (one had a very pleasant story of changing my diaper) or were literally out of the country when I would have been conceived. I will warn you, though, do be careful about mentioning liking any celebrity who is at least twenty years older than you. Mom will spin you an hour-long tale of how she met him, fell in love, and how he is your real father. I’m mostly sure that she doesn’t actually believe these stories. Mostly.
Well, Betty, or whatever you will be named, I suppose that is enough for one night.
All My Love,