“When they told Miss Grace there was going to be a new baby in the family she did not think much of it because she already had four beautiful dolls and a nursemaid named Acey and a cup and a bowl and a silver spoon to dig with in the earth behind the house. She did not think much of it but as the time grew near and the talk grew more and the packages began to arrive she commenced to sing a song about her baby sister and what she was going to do when she had a baby sister and on and on, some of the words of which Acey remembered and told her many years later. She did not think she was singing this song about the sister but she was, and when it kept up her mother said to Acey, Acey you musn’t let the child go on and on about that baby sister all the time, suppose it turns out a baby brother, she’ll be disappointed, so Acey began to say, when she began the song, come sing some about your baby brother, sing your old Acey a little about your baby brother cause you don’t know it ain’t going to be a baby brother you’re getting; but when Acey said this, Grace would stiffen up thinner than ever and twist her mouth to one side and start to cry.”
—Pati Hill, from “In the House Where They Were Born.”
Illustration Credit Evie Cahir.