Saturday, March 19, 2011

man's best friend

when i was four i wanted a dog.

instead, my parents gave me a brother.

at the time, you can imagine my disappointment. a puppy is instant fun and this new baby in my life did nothing but distract my parent's attention away from me.

after a miscarriage in between timothy and myself, my parents had conceded to the idea of having only one child. just me. i was to be the star of the show and my life was pretty good. four and a half years of solo time, was just enough for me to independent, free thinking and maybe, a little spoiled. my life was all mapped out and i liked it. i spent all week playing with my mom and on saturday mornings my daddy and i would leave the house so mom could have some time to her self. this usually involved sleeping in, but that is an entirely different blog. those saturday mornings with my daddy were THE best. we had the same routine, the same ritual every week. that, too, is another blog. so imagine my surprise when this new bundle of joy came home to live in MY house. we lived in a little two bedroom house and i so vividly remember being down right furious that they were going to make me share a room with this BOY. after all, my room was pink! with flowers! and not that big! all of my things were moved to the basement to make room for HIS things. a bassinet, his swing, his changing table. this was MY room!

slowly, it sunk into my thick skull, that he was not going any where. i was just going to have to get used to him being around. and so i did and in doing so discovered that hey! this life might not be so bad after all. when mom was holding him, it left her hands less free to reprimand or catch me. i became an even freer, more independent spirit. i ran amok with the neighborhood kids and my best friend, brian. suddenly, life was pretty good again.

the in between then and now of sibling life escapes me. it seems as if tim has always been around and those first four and a half alone years never happened. he is like an appendage. i don't really remember too many fights between us over the years, although when we did fight, we certainly made it count. he's generally a mellow dude, but when you hit the hot button, the fuse becomes short and fast. like the time he got so pissed at me and pushed me through a glass storm door on the farm! i did NOT see that coming. naturally, we lied and said we threw a ball through the door, but i suspect our parents have always known differently.

despite the large age gap between us, i have always been protective of him. no one else was going to kill him, because i was going to. i am certain he feels like he has two mothers and i might be just a tad bit overbearing from time to time. fortunately, most of the time he lets it slide and over the last decade and a half we have become the very best of friends. there is a very comforting thing about having a sibling, a person who walked down the same road that you did. who remembers that vacation in orlando when dad was so angry with all those brazilian kids. who remembers getting up at the crack of dawn to feed bottle calves and how they would suck so hard the bottle would separate and you would end up with calf formula all over you before school. who remembers that time it snowed on his late october birthday. who knows exactly what kinda mood our mother is in by the tone of her voice. yes, its good to have that kind of person in your life.

tim and i have gotten so close over the years, randy used to be intimidated by the two of us. to this day, he refuses to play any team game opposite us. he now gets "us" a little bit more and understands that we need to spend time together, in fact, he encourages it. now the two of them are like two peas in a pod and sometimes i am the lone forgotten guy. its okay by me, i am happy to share my little brother. (most of the time!)

we try to have a monthly date/outing and tonight we celebrated my survival of hell week with pagliais pizza. it was a staple for both of us while we were in maryville and its always so nice to have the thirty minute drive to catch up. the beautiful thing about having him as my brother, is not only did my parents give me a sibling, but they gave me a friend. although sometimes i don't like to hear what comes out of his mouth, he always speaks the truth to me and tells it like it is. (i happily return the favor, for the record.) tonight's conversation involved humility, forgiveness and sucking it up. not to mention some really whacked out dreams he has been having, but again, another blog or maybe he should take that up with a therapist? i can't steam roll my brother into thinking what i want him to think, he knows when i am bluffing and calls me on it. it nice to be able to be that raw and humble with another human being.

i hope the two of you, soon to be three, will take advantage of the "gifts" we have given you. there will always be times you don't like each other, but i hope you always love each other. within the three of you is the same dna, the same past, the same possibility. i always am in awe that there is no person on this earth as much like me as tim. how incredibly cool is that? having a solid relationship doesn't just happen by proxy, you will have to work at it, nurture it, foster it! but if you do, i promise it can be the most rewarding and soul satisfying relationship. besides, who else is going to always agree with you how crazy your father and i are?

i'm 34 years old and that dog i so desperately wanted would be long gone by now. instead of that dog, they gave me a best friend and i am so, so grateful.

"i don't believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. it makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at."

maya angelou

1 comment:

  1. love this! Made me want to call MY little brother