Kung Fu Fighting

My sister, Cyndi, is two and half years younger. We are very close now, including that she vacations with us almost every year.

Growing up we were not close, not even remotely so. We were polar opposites in so many ways. She was athletic and I was athletically impaired. She was (and is) outrageously funny and I was minimally amusing on a good day. I loved school while she endured it. She was tall and I was height challenged. One of the few things we agreed on was how much we did not care for each other at that point in our lives.

To our parents’ dismay –especially our Mother who was an only child —we fought a lot. We engaged in the typical sneaky behind the parents’ warfare…Mom, she (insert whine and assorted assignations here)…No, I did not!…and we also engaged in hand to hand combat at times. My sister had height and physical ability on her side but I had a sharp tongue to land blows with and a well-timed sense of when to run.

One day when we were in our pre-teen / early teens, we found ourselves home alone. Neither one of us has any memory of what started our fighting, but we began laying hands on each other. We slapped at each other with extended arms and warily circled each other in the center of the family room rug.

Our family room and kitchen were an open plan and an L-shaped sectional divided the t.v. and fireplace hearth from the breakfast table and kitchen. We bobbed and weaved in circles landing glancing blows on each other. And, then, suddenly Cyndi was airborne as she flew over my head and completely over the sofa. She landed on her back with a resounding THUD on the hardwood floor between the sofa and the breakfast table rug. I had grabbed her arm and in some unplanned, unexplained, and uncoordinated karate move flipped her. It was the Sweet girls’ version of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon right there in suburbia.

I leapt onto the sofa and fearfully peered over the back to see Cyndi on the floor flat on her back. Had I just killed my sister? The landing had knocked the breath out of her and she was speechless and breathless. OH NO! ARE YOU OKAY? She struggled to nod yes. As the color returned to her face and she could finally inhale, we discovered another thing we agreed on. Our conflict dissolved into conspiracy as we agreed that never ever, under any circumstances, could Mom and Dad find out about this episode.

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