Hello, girls of Cassie’s collaboration blog! I’m very excited to be writing to all of you. I was actually quite flattered when Cassie asked me to do this. I would have expected her to go to Matthew for this sort of thing. (Hope there are no hard feelings, little brother.)
Sigh . . . five sentences in, and I haven’t even introduced myself. Well done. My name is Katherine Guion-Murdoch, though most people know me as Kate. I’m Cassie’s older sister. I believe she told you about me a few months ago. (Though I’m not sure where she conceived that story about me being a figment of her and her brother’s demented imaginations. Really Cassie, I’m sorry, but you and your brother are simply not that clever.) =) Up until recently, I was an English teacher in Kansas. Now, I’m an English teacher in New Hampshire. Aside from that, things are pretty much the same as they were when Cassie last wrote about me.
Cassie told me I could write about pretty much anything, and recently, I’ve been giving serious thought to the autobiography I’d like to write called My Life as an Imaginary Sibling. (It’s a working title, but for some reason I really like it.) So, since Cassie has already told you about my current life, I thought I would tell you about my past life and show you a brief excerpt from the book. Hope you don’t mind too much or find it too boring.
Chapter 1: An Anomalous Beginning
I was born on a day that only exists once every four years. To this day, I’m not sure how I managed to do that, but I’ve always been one to fly in the face of what’s considered normal. You would be very hard-pressed to locate any pictures of me from any point of my life, because I am notoriously camera shy. I wouldn’t even pose for family photos. I’ve never been to a high school or college reunion, a homecoming game, or even a Christmas visit. I’m kept so busy with my husband and children that I rarely see my parents or siblings anymore. And yet, it’s my siblings who really seem to define who I am. (Though I’m the oldest, so by rights, it should be the other way around.)
My first real memory is of my little brother, Matthew, and my littler sister, Cassie. Strangely enough, I have no memories of Matthew as a baby, though I have vivid memories of Cassie as one. The first thing I really remember is being in the hospital shortly after Cassie was born. Which isn’t terribly unusual, until you consider that I was eight years old at the time. How can one person not have a single, vivid memory of herself before the age of eight?
I have fragments, most of them involving Matthew as a toddler, running around the coffee table we had in our little house in Illinois, with one of his hands never quite leaving the vicinity of the table, just in case. He was deliberate in everything he did, my little brother. It wasn’t until I walked over and gave him a good shove away that he finally got up the gumption to stand and walk on his own, though he’d been perfectly capable of doing so beforehand.
Cassie, on the other hand, was almost the exact opposite. My father is fond of telling the story of when he decided to test that theory that toddlers have an invisible line that connects them back to their mother so they’ll never wander away too far. He allowed her to wander further and further down the driveway, waiting for her to stop, turn around, run back home. Needless to say, had he not run down to scoop her up from the end of the driveway to keep her from going into the road, who knows where she’d be?
It’s little wonder Cassie and Matthew got along so poorly in those early years, really. I remember Matthew being verbally cruel and Cassie responding in the only way she then knew how: physical violence. (Now, of course, she can hold her own in a verbal spar with her brother.) I witnessed a number of incidents between the two of them. The Golf Club Incident, the Unwanted Haircut Incident, the Stolen Book Incident, to say nothing of Matthew’s repeated queries of whether or not it was time to take Cassie back to the hospital in the days after she was born. (He continues to allege that he was confused and thought she was a rental. You can judge for yourselves.)
I realize that I’ve said quite a bit about my two siblings (and we haven’t even gotten to Jeffrey yet!) and very little about myself, but you must understand: I didn’t know who I was before Matthew and Cassie came around. I feel as though I exist solely because of them, despite the fact that I rarely see them. And yet, Matthew was born almost five years after I was, and Cassie nearly four years after that. How do I account for the missing years? The answer is, quite simply, I don’t. This is to be the story of my life, but my life only truly began when those two became a part of it. I can’t explain it any other way, I’m afraid . . . though I am, admittedly, going to spend an entire book trying.
I told you it was an anomalous beginning.
Hope that wasn’t too boring for you girls! I’ve greatly enjoyed getting to know you all by way of your blog (which I read as often as I can). The memes last week were exceptionally helpful in learning a bit more about you. And now, I hope you’ve learned a bit more about me as well. I look forward to meeting the other guests this week, and I will see our anonymous Tuesday guest tomorrow!