Three Like Me – Day One: Meg Murry

Me In Three Characters

Today I memed. I’m going to assume that’s a word.

Over the last week or so I saw this meme pop up on both Facebook and Twitter. The idea is you pick three fictional characters that as a whole represent you. The above is my contribution to said meme. From left to right to bottom they are: Meg Murry from A Wrinkle in Time, Alice from Through the Looking Glass, and Professor Stein from Soul Eater.

In case some of you don’t know all of the characters, let me explain who they are, and why I picked them. This got long, so I’m going to do one each day. Today is Meg.

Character One: Meg Murry – The Big Sister/Mom-Type

Meg Murry by Abraham J. LeeOne of the biggest parts of me is my momdom (I’m sure that’s not a word.). And while I’ve been a mom for going on ten years now, I’ve been a big sister for thirty-six. I’m the oldest of five kids, but that is not where the sister/mom thing ends.

As a kid I was the oldest of my cousins in my age group (except for Katie who is still older than me :D). That made me the built-in babysitter for not only my own siblings, but whichever set of cousins happened to be in the area at the time. This in-chargeness (fine I like making up words okay?) eventually spread to our group of friends, wherein I am also the oldest, usually by at least three to four years.

All my friends called me mom. A couple of my teachers in high school and college called me mom. The kids in our neighborhood I didn’t even know called me mom. It’s a moniker I wear proudly even though I annoyed everyone I when I was younger, and continue to annoy some of them to this day.

I tried to think of a fictional mom that suited me. None of them did. They were either too perfect, too grouchy, or too grown-up. That’s when I thought of Meg.

A Wrinkle In Time (cover)Meg is the main character in A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. She is the oldest of four, with three younger brothers: Charles Wallace, and the twins, Sandy and Dennys. At school she is troublesome and stubborn – too smart for school but without enough savvy or charisma to skate by undetected. As such she has few friends and instead has a close relationship with Charles who understands her better than anyone else.

In the course of the story Meg, Charles, and Meg’s schoolmate Calvin O’Keefe go off on a sci-fi adventure of epic proportions. During their travels her love of her family and her stubbornness to continue to be herself, faults and all, is what ends up saving not only their small group, but possibly the universe.

As a kid I connected with Meg instantaneously. She was bad at and hated school, because of the way it was taught, not because she was dumb. She thought little of herself, but much of her family. Instead of friends she had her mother and her brothers and she would stand up for them whatever it took. They were hers and whoa to anyone who caused them pain or grief.

When I first read this book and then the rest of the series, I was in the living hell of elementary school, stuck in the dumb classes due to an undiagnosed learning disability, dyslexia, and dyscalculia (and possibly autism). I had few friends and fewer who really understood me. But I had a big family that loved me and needed me. I warded of jerks on the playground and stood up for them if they were under fire. Helping with homework wasn’t my strong suit, but I could make a mean blanket fort and I was allowed to use the stove and make cookies. :9

Freeman and Wanschura Kids Christmas 1992

Top row left to right: My sister Amanda, cousin Max, Me. Middle row left to right: my oldest younger brother Stephen, cousin Amber, cousin Heather. Bottom: my youngest brothers (the twins) Alex and Tony (I have no idea which is which).

Elementary school melted into middle school and high school, and the threat of physical violence from other students faded with it. But I was still the built-in babysitter. I helped with problems that came up, homework questions that needed answering, made last minute Halloween costumes (I’m still doing that), and washed out cuts while applying far too many band-aids for each wound.

As the first with a car I drove everyone everywhere. As the “responsible” one I chaperoned parties, to varying success. Once my friends and family hit college I picked people up from trains and airports, helped move in and out of dorms, and drove to and from schools for weekend visits.

Now I have my own kids and I’m momming for real. And even though my boys take up a lot of my time and many of my friends are married and some even have their own kids, I still answers random questions at odd times of day, remind certain people they need to keep up with self-care, and help my brothers shop for Christmas and birthdays.

I might not always be successful, but I love my friends and family, even when they drive me insane, and like Meg, I would give up anything for them if I had too.