After my sister was born when I was 7, Grandmother always made us matching Easter dresses. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that because I had to now share my Grandmother with a little sister, but I didn’t have a choice.
Grandmother always sent socks and a hat to match when she finished the dresses and we always felt really dressed up for church in our new outfits, besides they came from Grandmother.
The year I was 11 and my sister was almost 4 Grandmother made us yellow satin dresses. Each of the dresses had a wide white peter pan collar and short puffed sleeves. A white sash surrounded our waist and tied in the back in a bow.
Mother always tied the bows, because when dad tied a bow it was always upside down with the tails coming out of the top or the bow would be hanging vertically instead of horizontal.
The skirts were full and of course, we had multiple can-cans to hold them out. Grandmother always made new can-cans to match each dress. The skirt on each dress was a little different but still, one dress matched the other. My sister’s dress had several large ruffles to make up the skirt while mine was just a full skirt.
We had matching white socks and black patent shoes. My sister’s shoes were the ones with the strap and buckle and mine were just little flats. Boy, we thought we were really decked out.
To top this off, we both had yellow hats with white flowers on them. I am not sure I wore mine because I thought I was getting too old for hats like Grandmother bought. She still thought I was her little princess and bought hats that were too young I thought.
My sister’s hat had ribbons that tied in a big bow and she hated it, but didn’t have a choice and had to wear it at least to the church, but I am sure she pulled it off the minute she got to the classroom for Sunday school.
Mom dressed us a little early that Easter morning so the neighbor could come over and take a family photo and then mom could do the same for them. Once we were all dressed we went out in the yard and posed for the photo.
Our family photos were always a challenge to get one right, because my dad was always tickling or teasing mom and she had a hard time standing still.
After the photo we were allowed to go into the house and play for about half hour before church while mom took pictures of all the neighbors in their Easter outfits. I went to my room to listen to the radio. A move I would regret a little later because I had been instructed to watch my sister, who could get into trouble at the drop of a hat.
When mom came in to pick up her purse so we could all leave I heard this scream of disgust and knew that my goose was cooked. My sister had gotten into something and it was going to be my fault because I hadn’t kept an eye on her. Not that she would have listened to me: she never did.
When I came out of my room and stepped into the living room, I burst into laughter, which didn’t help my situation in the least. Mom shot me a dirty look, then grabbed my sister and walked her over to the dining room table and told her to stand there. Then mom went into the kitchen and grabbed the camera.
When she came back into the room she told my sister to hold up her hands and to smile. My sister looked at her with her large brown eyes, wondering what was wrong, because she had no idea why mom was so mad.
In the photo is a 4-year-old in her yellow satin dress and mom’s bright red lipstick. She’d made an attempt to get it on her lips, but it was all over her face from the tip of her nose to her chin. Her cheeks looked like she had applied war paint.
Mom made her hold up her hands so the photo would show she had not missed a single finger with the lipstick. Amazingly she had avoided getting any on the beautiful yellow dress and after a good scrubbing, she was ready for Sunday school.
I received the scolding I knew was coming because I hadn’t kept her out of trouble and she had ruined a whole tube of moms of lipstick. But this one was worth it to see her covered in the lipstick.
My sister, the Brat, had been pleased with her new look and believed she looked beautiful in one of our matching yellow Easter dresses, and mom’s bright red lipstick. To contact Sandy: [email protected]