Some of you may know that my mom, my sister and I have birthdays all exactly two weeks apart (my sister and I are three years apart in age). Because of this, the end of September and the entire month of October have been great fun. It’s always been a time of celebrating all the girls of the family (my poor dad!), as birthdays in our family were a big deal.

Yet, as a child I can vividly remember the year when I was given the responsibility of keeping a very special secret from my younger sister. My parents had purchased a piano for my musically gifted sister’s birthday. Yes, you read that correctly. A full-sized piano. For her birthday.

A big gift–an even bigger secret. I’m sure it was only a matter of hours for me to keep my lips zipped, and yet I bursting. It was as though I was being eaten from the inside out.

I did what any reasonable sister would do, I told myself–I would give her a hint. I started with a small hint. Yet hint after hint–she was still clueless. But, she knew I knew. We both had been bitten by the curiosity bug–and I found solace in the fact that I was not alone!

I convinced myself it was almost as though I was doing her a favor if I told! Sure she would know–but she could act surprised, right?

Doing what any reasonable pair of sisters would do–we hatched a plan: we’d go to the bathroom together. I’d tell her there. And so, each of us in a bathroom stall–the secret made its way out.  “You’re getting a piano!”, I exclaimed!

The moment the words left my lips, I wished they hadn’t. I knew I had ruined one of the biggest surprises of my sweet sister’s life.

It wasn’t long after leaving the bathroom, we finished her birthday meal and headed home. My parents opened the door and herded my sister down the hallway into her music room with great flourish. There sat the piano, almost mockingly, with a giant bow.

And, with sadness, my parents knew. I knew.

The secret was out.