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Wisdom From My Baby Sister

I have three siblings, two older, and one younger. My younger sister is in her 40's now with a family of her own, but she always has been, and always will be, my "Baby Sister" (although we do call her "Oops!" at times as well.) I have several stories about her that I will likely share as time allows, as she has always been a seemingly unending source of funny stories and unexpected insights. One of my favorites comes from when she was about seven.

She had been moping around for most of the day, which was not her norm, and I finally asked her what was wrong. A thoughtful look covered her face for several seconds before she replied, "I guess I've got the 'can't help its.'"

Now it was my turn to look thoughtful as I asked "What in the world do you mean by that?"

She gave me one of those looks that only a seven-year-old can give, the look that makes you feel incredibly stupid and appreciated at the same time, as she patiently explained, "You know... 'the can't help its.' When you feel sad, and you don't know why, but you just can't help it."

Indeed.  I still use the the phrase "the can't help its" over 30 years later, as I've yet to hear a better way to describe that feeling.

* Thanks to a very good EP friend for telling me that I needed to share this one.  Brings back such good memories.
OverWritten OverWritten 46-50, M 2 Responses Dec 4, 2012

Your Response


People who are unintentionally funny are the best!! Thats why lids are so good at it.
. The can' t help its.... I've auctually got them right now. Its pretty hard to get me down and it ususally never lasts. Today its still there and I am wandering around wondering what I should do about it. I feel better now. I can't help it!!
Nice post. Welcome to ep : )

Whoops thats kids, not lids. Lids are traditionally silent and boring : ) Unless you flip them.....

I am so very happy that you chose to share this particular memory with the EP world. It is adorably sweet and extreamly endearing. I began to smile from the moment you described her both as "Baby Sister" and "Oops!". Thank you.

And I appreciate you recommending that I share it.

It was my pleasure, as I enjoyed it the first time you shared it with me. Though I wasn't intending on admitting it was I who encouraged you to do so ... You've blown my cover so to speak. At least now I won't have to carry that darned copyright document with, me that gives you credit each time I use this phrase - I can simply refer them to your own words.