I can’t tell my story without telling you about my family…without them I wouldn’t be as semi-adjusted as I am. Since they’ll be showing up eventually, I’d like to make some introductions. First up – Brother.
TopChef’s oldest daughter recently turned five and became a member of the Tooth Fairy Network. Being the creative mom that she is, she made a magical event of it…there were purple balloons, a special Tooth Fairy pillow, and I think a certificate from the Tooth Fairy herself! As TopChef detailed the plans with the rest of us, I remembered another little girl who believed in magic and fairies because her big brother made it so.
He wanted a little brother. I wanted a big sister. We didn’t have any choice in the matter and so we ended up with each other. Brother is brilliant, witty, artistic, bossy, moody, and a perfectionist. He is also one of the most complicated people that I know. He believes everyone should follow the rules, his rules. Did I mention that he’s bossy? Growing up in our mostly kidless neighborhood, we had each other. He led the way and I usually followed….or was dragged kicking and screaming. I was forced to participate in the Summer Olympic games that he organized (complete with cardboard medals that he spray painted gold, silver, and bronze…there were only two of us so I never understood who got the bronze). My Barbies and his Lego people lived side by side, more harmoniously than we did. Brother was under the impression for much of our childhood that my room was his room. I didn’t necessarily agree and that led to some epic battles. I don’t think our mother ever made it through a phone call without having to referee a fight between the two of us. But when we weren’t fighting, we were getting along…riding bikes “down the Shore”* together, sneaking out to dinner (Bonanza! Ponderosa!) with our mom, drinking A-Treat soda that our dad brought home for us, tormenting our baby-sitters.
|The Last Gift|
|Faded proof that there are fairies!|
The cardboard medals of our Summer Olympic games were thrown away long ago, my Barbies and his Legos are packed away side by side in our parents’ basement, and our old bedrooms have been converted into a guest room (his) and a storage room (mine). He still drives me crazy, our fights are waged long distance over the phone (I’m the queen of the hang-up, he’s the king of calling back and calling back and calling back), he’s no longer that angry teenager, and he’s still bossy. We’re both in our thirties now, long past the acceptable age of believing in fairies and magic. But there’s a part of me that still believes…because my big brother made it so.
*The Shore is what lesser informed people refer to as the beach. If you live in PA or NJ, chances are you went “down the shore” during the summer. And if you happened to get ice cream while you were down the shore, you got jimmies on top…not sprinkles, never sprinkles.