Monday, December 27, 2010

E&E: Friendship Between Firstborn and Lastborn

I found out recently that my youngest brother discovered my blog and has become a regular reader (Hi, Elliot). This made me simultaneously happy (someone else reads these words? Hooray!) and nervous (hope I didn’t say anything too embarrassing or incriminating about the fam lately). 

Check out the munchkin in the middle.
He and I are ten and a half years apart. I remember very clearly the day he came home from the hospital. When I hugged Mom, I was surprised my hands could touch behind her again. The newest member of the family was no longer a nameless lump, he was a real live kid! As the oldest in our family (raised in close proximity physically and emotionally), I crossed back and forth between sister/friend and parent/caretaker roles pretty often (for better or worse: sorry I was such a bossy babysiter, siblings). I can't distinguish the sisterly pride from the motherly protective feelings I have for my youngest brother.

Christmas, 2009
We have a special bond, being the bookends of the family. In high school when I worked at the local library, I brought home picture books to share. I still love reading aloud, and feel sad my siblings and I don’t do it as often anymore (what with becoming adults and all. Sheesh). When I was studying Children’s Literature in college as part of my education degree, Elliot was the grateful beneficiary of lots of new stories to read aloud (even though we never finished Ruby Holler, an excellent book).

Easter, 2010
All these things were on my mind when I asked him for ideas of family stories to share (for my Family Folklore series...which I haven't forgotten). I thought he might remember a charming anecdote from his perspective as baby of the family.

Christmas 2010
Here’s what he told me (quoted to the best of my recollection):
Write about the time I asked all of you [four older siblings] to play capture the flag and you said no. So I took a bath. While I was in the bath, you all went outside and it ended up being a huge capture the flag game with neighbor kids that covered the whole neighborhood. When I found out you used my idea, Mom wouldn’t let me join you because I was already clean so I just had to go to bed. Write about that.
Sorry kiddo. I assumed being the youngest meant living the sweet life: No enforced bedtime, when us "big kids" were threatened with corporal punishment for leaving our bedroom after lights-out. Watching R rated movies before you were 18, when we weren't allowed to finish Harry and The Hendersons (I think they said "heck" once). The list goes on. But I know it's not easy being the youngest.

I love you.

Keep the story ideas coming. :)

1 comment:

  1. "Write about that." Hahaha! That is the saddest thing I've ever heard. I can't believe you guys waited until he was in the bath to have the most epic game ever.