There were five of us. Kids. And a natural order of Age. Me, four years, Kimbies, 4 more years, Curty Boy, 2 years, Skinny 2 more years and then Chanty Boy.
For the most part we were passive, a wandering tribe of gypsy souls. Rarely did we scrap. By our teen years, Kimbies and I were given lots of freedom as long as we toted a little one with us. Thus, Curty, Skinny and Chance were introduced to Rock and Roll, fast cars, and secrets early on.
And that would be how the natural order of things would change.
Skinny, when not digging in the dirt, was the first to bop up with "Take me, Take me", often elbowing her way into the front of the line. Which wasn't really hard to do. Curty was passive and frankly,not really interested in cruising with the big kids on Friday night. Happy to just stay home, perched indian legged in front of the big old console TV, watching reruns. And Chanty, with no words to make his wishes known was often at our "take em or leave em" mercy. While I love Skinny dearly, being the oldest, I often opted to take Chanty. We'd plop him on the center console of Million's van, and venture into the week-end, Deep Purple blasting from the 8-track, windows rattling. See, Chanty, dumplin' of a sweetie, is down syndrome...born with a forever smile and dancing eyes. And in those little eyes you have to read the world, because he doesn't speak The Kings English. His tiny voice box was just born jumbled up and the sounds and noises he makes are endless streams of babbling, sound effects, noise....but never words. He early on, became the keeper of secrets. Never one to tattle tell.
Not the case for Skinny.
Her endless arms and legs piling into the week-end, also meant her wishing well eyes were there. Soaking in every word, every sight, every secret. She would be elbow deep in a bag of Lay's BBQ chips, singing, WATCHING. Gathering. Later, on occassion, trading sssssshhhhhhhssssshhhhhhs for candy bars. A business agreement. A lucrative and viable business agreement. "Don't tell Mom and Dad"
As the years grew and her legs grew, we settled into sisterhood. Trading secrets for secrets. Trading the spoken for the unspoken. Trading the order.
Sometimes now she leads.
And I quietly follow.
Oh.....the secrets Chance could tell.