Monday, January 17, 2011

Oh Brothers!

When I was expecting my third child, I knew I was supposed to say, "Oh it doesn't matter whether I have a boy or a girl", but I truly longed to give my two daughters a brother. So I was overjoyed when my son was born. I'd never officially had a little brother, although I'd always felt I had one in my nephew, who was just four and a half years younger. I surely had older brothers, three in fact!

I came along when my parents already had an established family of four children. My 16 year old sister was delighted to finally receive a baby sister after having three little brothers. My brothers, ages 14, 12, and 10, now were sandwiched between us two girls. Over the years I've heard stories of who my parents trusted to babysit me, and who they did not. But my own memories of my brothers are most special to me, because by the time I was eight years old, they were all moving on with their adult lives.

My oldest brother was another father-figure to me, always calling me "dear", always patient, and always willing to give me a hand. He took my nephew and I to camp, always played lifeguard, and made us our meals. I remember one time when I was a teenager, he came to meet me halfway on a trip home from my sister's house. We took the long way home, stopping to eat dinner along the way. I don't remember what we spoke about for those several hours in the car, but I remembering treasuring our time together.

My "middle brother" was the cool brother. He had a motorcycle and my earliest memories of him are of putting on a helmet and getting rides on it. I remember his pretty girlfriends too and the special gifts he bought me, like my own acoustic guitar, that always made me feel more mature. One of my favorite things to do when I was old enough to ride my bike around town, was going to visit him and his son at his apartment in town.

And then there was Kevin. My youngest brother was around the most. We used to fight over which television shows to watch and over imaginary games that I'd play in the car. I'm sure that having a kid sister who was 10 years younger than he was quite annoying at times for a teenage boy, but most of the memories I have of my time with him involve our laughing, or lovingly teasing one another. He's the one that taught me how to talk while pushing jello through my teeth, who challenged me to learn current events, who shared his music albums with me, and who paid me for wrapping his Christmas presents or for doing other odd chores. When I went off to college he was there inviting me over for dinner, and when we each started our families, our children visited Santa's Village and shared Christmas celebrations together.

My three brothers are all individuals who each played significant roles in my childhood. In recent years, the relationships I have with my brothers have evolved. Watching them with their own families and with my own children has been rewarding. I am proud of us all.

Watching my son with his two older sisters always puts a smile on my face. Being much closer in age, the three of them have played together and have grown up together in ways I did not have the chance to experience myself. But that's okay. Having my three older brothers and knowing that we still have years to enjoy together as adults makes me happy. They all continue to influence me today. I cannot imagine my life without them.

Happy Birthday Kevin.

1 comment:

  1. I got to observe your brothers from afar, but I thought Bill was the handsome one, John was the cool one, and Kevin was the funny one. Since my brother was a mere three years older and loved to pick on me, I'm sure I was also a bit envious about you having brothers you had to see only once in awhile. ;)