Lindsay is two years older, and was quite a star for a two-year-old. She took one look at me, after my parents had taken me home from the hospital, and said, “Hi, Nunu!” The nickname “Nunu” was a take on “new baby.” She had heard for nine or so months that a new baby would be coming home. She couldn’t visit me in the hospital because she had been sick, so she got to meet my on my parent’s bed, I believe. Scarlet did get to meet Des at the hospital after he was born, but then he went to the NICU for a week, and she was too sick to visit. The parallels never escape me. It reminds me of magical love in this vast earth.
There are other parallels too. NICU parallels. I’ll get to that one soon. I’m still in the past. When I was old enough to talk and string sentences together, I particularly liked words that fell off my tongue the right way. So I nicknamed my big sister, “Marvelous.” We were Nunu and Marvelous. Truth be told, I didn’t know it was a compliment. I was just a bratty little sister, putting my arm around her and singing, “Me and Marvelous!” Maybe I thought it was annoying to her. Maybe it was, but probably it wasn’t. Maybe she knew that marvelous was a compliment. The fact is, she IS marvelous. To everyone. To me.
I think I have something to say here, because as Adam Sandler says in one of our favorite movies – The Wedding Singer – “Well I have a microphone and YOU don’t. So you will listen to every (darn) word I have to say!” Sometimes, blogging is like that. I feel like I’m holding a microphone, in the one capacity in which I feel comfortable holding a microphone. I am no public figure. I’m a background girl. My sister, Lindsay has a blog too. She IS a public figure. She’s a rock DJ/Yogi with a great social media following. In high school she was a cheerleader, and I was stage crew in drama club. You’d think this would cause years of jealousy or resentment, but it never did. She was always looking at me and listening to me, and noting how our differences were marked, but poignant. I was always looking at her and listening to her too. We saw and heard each other. We still do.
We have the same heart, although hers can be more open than mine. We’re both meant to have microphones, just in different capacities. We’re both meant to cry and scream and love and live – preferably as close as possible. Close at heart.
As I’ve said many times in the past, my son went to the NICU for a week, not long after birth. It’s not an experience I’d ever want to repeat or have anyone else experience, but sometimes life has other plans. Doctors and nurses are amazing, and new parents rise up to the challenges they face, because that’s what love and life can give us. My nephew, Parker Steven, was born eight weeks early this month, and Lindsay and her husband, Mike, rose to the challenge. They became parents, fast and furiously, and the love was fast and furious. It was scary and traumatic, but they made all the right calls. They were strong.
My sister is my everyday hero, because she used this scary experience to grow and thrive, into a mom, and into a new person. She could have faltered or closed her heart. She could have done a lot of things, but she saw only one option. Be Parker’s Mama, and be his Mama in fierce love and support. My sister is my everyday hero, because she knows how to draw people close in her time of need, and not drive them away. I could learn a thing or two. I think I am learning every day.
In 1999, Annie Leibovitz published a book of portraits called Women. It was made in collaboration with Susan Sontag, and was accompanied by an exhibition that opened to great acclaim at the Corcocan Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
In January of 2016, the UBS x Leibovitz collaboration continues to explore the changes in the roles of women today, while bringing to life one of the greatest art exhibitions of the 21st century. This tour will travel to ten host cities over the course of a year. The venues will be selected based on unique architectural context within the host city, as well as the ability to attract both local and global attention. Entry is complimentary. Visit www.ubs.com/annieleibovitz for more information.
• San Francisco
• Hong Kong
• Mexico City
• New York
Have a hero? Tell her! You can win a trip for two to meet Annie Leibovitz at a city near you. Upload a black and white photo of your everyday hero on Instagram using the hashtag #ShareYourHero, and tag @UBS and @AnnieLeibovitz.