Once upon a time, a child was born and he was my brother. I had been the only child for seven years when he became a part of my life. I was jealous of him before he got here. After the baby shower I wondered aloud why he had so many gifts. My brother was now mom and dad’s baby. I never felt pushed to the side except for the day they brought him home from the hospital. All the company who used to fuss over me now had their attention focused on my brother. Every time I got too close, there were orders, “wash your hands”, “back up”, and “hold his head up.” I didn’t like him for maybe a day or two.
I was fine once my brother and I had our moment of bonding. My mom asked me to keep an eye on him while she took a shower. I clearly remember watching her as she exited the room. This was my opportunity to get him and hold him without any guidance. Calmly freaking out, my mom found us sitting on the balcony of our upstairs apartment. I wanted to show him outside.
Even with our age difference, we have always had a special bond. There were the ages we played together. I was his form of entertainment and sometimes he was mine. We have a laugh that is only reserved for one another. I had a special nickname for him and our dog Captain Kirk aka “Flea bag”.
At an age when I could have boy company outside, my brother refused to stay inside. I had no privacy as he tried to provide entertainment. “Watch me throw this penny over the roof”, he exclaimed to my company. As he threw the penny with all his might, he farted at the same time and I was mortified. There was never a way to maturely get him back without embarrassing myself in the process. So I saved this story for the serious girlfriend, who turned out to be his future wife. Now talking about it on my blog is the ultimate payback. Just for emphasis:
Here’s the thing… my brother farted. So there.
A lot of frustrations I had with him had to do with what he ate the last of. I returned home from choir practice one night and he had eaten half of a candy gift I was giving to a co-worker the next day.
When I didn’t have a boyfriend he was my date to the movies. When I did have a boyfriend, he was the third wheel.
He is a big part of the story of how I met my husband. The longest conversation I ever had with my brother was one sided. It was in a letter I sent him while he was in Marine boot camp, telling him that “Sgt. Johnson” and I were engaged.
We don’t talk about deep stuff. After I had to tell on him (as a responsible young adult) to mom and dad about his report card, he never shared another secret. Never. EVER.
The most special time we shared together brings tears to my eyes as I recall it. Once I was married and he was in the Marine Corps, as God would have it, we spent our first Christmas away from home together; on the other side of the world. My husband and I were stationed in Okinawa, Japan and my brothers unit was there for a six-week deployment. We were there together for Thanksgiving through Christmas.
We live on opposite sides of the United States now. We don’t talk often, but whenever we get on the phone we seem to pick up where we left off.
Christopher and I had the opportunity to visit him and his wife last summer. This time Christopher had to fuss about what my brother ate the last of; for his nephew he went to the store to replace it.
This post was inspired by National Brother’s Week but I decided to save it for his birthday.
Happy Birthday Dirtbag!