27 May 2009

Great People: Chloe

When I was in middle school, my parents sat my brother and me down for a family meeting. We all had a decision to make: would my parents try to have another baby, or would we get a dog? We all decided on the dog.

And then, only months later, my mom was pregnant. When they told me I thought they were playing a practical joke (because my family had once played this same joke on me), and I laughed. But then I saw that my mom was not laughing. I think she was in shock, and was flooded with memories of birthing my 11-pound brother.

I immediately started referring to it as Chloe. Chloe Zoe, to be exact. I remember that same day force-feeding my mom Reese's Pieces, insisting that Chloe wanted them. The name Chloe stuck, and before long we were all calling it Chloe. I was especially nervous the day my mom came back from her sonogram. I already had a brother, and I was really looking forward to having a sister. Plus, who wants a brother named Chloe?

Fortunately for all of us, it was a girl. Chloe was born three weeks after my fifteenth birthday. My parents sissied out and wouldn't name her Chloe Zoe, but settled on Chloe Nicole. Of course I'm a bit biased, but Chloe was one of those babies who was beautiful from the time she was born. She never went through that alien-disgusting baby phase, which I appreciated.

Any time I would take her out, I would get dirty looks from people who believed I was her irresponsible teenage mother. And, many times, I resented being the "built-in babysitter." I bitched a bit [understatement of the year].

Chloe, now 13, has developed into quite a cool person. I kind of want to steal her. From an early age, she was bold, fearless, inquisitive and insightful. She may even turn out to be smarter than me. A few of my favorite Chloe moments:
  • When Chloe was 5, and we were driving home from watching Elf. She had recently seen Haunted Mansion. "You know, Sissy, sometimes you think a movie is scary or funny--but really it's about love, or Christmas spirit."
  • On Christmas Eve, when she was about 8. I was spending Christmas away from her in Savannah, and I called to see what she was doing. Her response: "Well, I was out putting food out for Santa's reindeer, but then I thought I saw the Grim Reaper so I came inside."
  • When she was 3, and I took her to see my high school's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. My friend Jason, on whom Chloe had a crush, was a member of the cast. In the middle of a musical number, Chloe recognized him, and she ran up to the stage and attempted to climb up, screaming: "That's my Jason!"
  • When she was in Kindergarten, learning to write. I was talking to her on the phone. She said that she was writing a grocery list, and she wanted me to tell her things to buy at the store. "Carrots," I would say, and she would go "c-c-carrots," and so on. At one point I said something obnoxious to her and she said, "b-b-bitch." I could have died happy in that moment.

Chloe has always been precocious. She's always been proud. She's recently developed an obsession with vampires. She's beautiful and interesting, and far less obnoxious than I was at her age. She's a good writer. She's not afraid to tell you when she disagrees with you.

She's such a badass that I think she could have pulled off the name Chloe Zoe.

I'm so, so, so happy that I got a sister instead of a dog.

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