Brothers mean a lot of different things to those of us who have one. And to those who have more than one, probably each brother has his own special place in your heart. Each one is an individual. I am pretty sure that my Mom was glad that 5 years after having me, she only had one more child, my brother, because the two of us, without purposefully trying, gave everyone a run for their money, lots of laughs and definitely a bit of frustration.
Being the only child for 5 years, and then all of a sudden having a baby brother was a shock to my system. It is true that the older sibling believes that the baby gets all of the attention. This is no reflection on parenting skills...it is what it is!
Let me paint a picture for you. Here is a prissy little girl, who loves to dress up and be the center of attention wherever she is taken and most definitely was just that for five years! (that would be ME) Then along comes this baby boy, that the nurses at the hospital have even nicknamed Little Elvis, due to the fact that he was born with loads of black curls all over his head. Actually, so many that he was close to a haircut to keep the curls out of his eyes. The baby is brought home and again, no matter where we went or who came to our home to see him, it was all about Little Elvis.
After a few weeks, this prima donna decided to do something about that. Very carefully, when he was napping and no one was around, I managed to get a pair of scissors and reach into the crib to cut those curls off. Luckily, the only thing I cut was hair. There was no blood. However, I can tell you there was a bit of pain involved and a lot of crying. It was not from Little Elvis. Our Mother was the one crying because all of the curls were gone. I was the one crying because of the spanking that I received. There were never very many spankings in our household for either one of us, however, this time there was. Obviously, I still remember it to this day!
Once I realized that this little brother was going no where, I finally accepted him. There was a big enough age gap that he had his world and friends and I had mine. We were together at family times basically, and together when the kids in the neighborhood were out and about. We both played with them. Sometimes we were partners in crime, such as hiding out when the porch light came on, which meant time for us to come home. We managed to add a little more time to playing by finding good hiding spots together.
We shared a story the last time we were together about when he was maybe 8ish and therefore I was 13. Why he decided to stick a metal knife into the electrical outlet at the kitchen island bar is beyond me. I watched before I screamed out in pain, because I was getting shocked by holding onto the metal rim around the kitchen island. He was looking at me as if I were crazy. Our Mom quickly knocked it out of his hand to stop the electricity going through to me. No one in the family was then or is now an electrician. Why he did not get shocked, who knows? Just chalk it up to another brother/sister story.
As teenagers, it was on again as best friends and then off again to keep your space and stay away. He was there to take me out in a boat to go frog gigging, of all things. Those who know me probably are having a hard time believing this. Trust me, it was only once. Outside and wildlife was really not my thing. He came home with a raccoon that he captured but I caught him with this critter as he was hiding it in our attic. He begged me not to tell our Mom. It was a baby one and I stayed quiet for a very short time. I think I started to get worried that he would get out of the cage and come in my room. So, of course, as big sisters do, I ratted him out.
Through teen years, especially, it was always a hot and cold brother sister relationship. One moment we are best friends and would do anything for one another and the next moment we would barely be speaking. Luckily, for the most part it was a lot of best friend moments. Through my careful planning, he even helped me get rid of a boyfriend once. Yes, I know this was a cruel thing to do to both of them. But my best friend did it just for me.
Our memories will always be there. Now I can't imagine life without him. We don't get to see one another often due to the fact that he works in Scotland. As we get a little older and able to travel more, we are hoping this will turn around and visits will become more frequent.
As one author stated, "To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time." Each day I find this to more and more the case. Love you 'bro!'
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