I have one sibling. A brother seven years younger. Ironically, his name starts with a B. I can’t remember when he was little. For that matter, I can’t really remember when I was little. How much are we supposed to remember about our childhood? I don’t know. I wonder if there’s something unhealthy about not remembering.
Seven years is a lot. Sometimes I don’t think brother and I have much in common, then at other times, I realize we do. Often, I don’t feel we really know each other. That makes sense. He lives in one state and I live in another. He never left our hometown except when he went to college; but then again, he’s a world traveler.
During our adult years, we’ve only spent time together during holidays. I’ve gone to his kids’ graduations and weddings. He came to my daughter’s graduation in Louisiana. And once he stayed up all night playing Nintendo with my stepson. All night. Mario Brothers didn’t have a chance!Brother even called the help hotline when they ran into a problem. He has always been … focussed.
Since the ordeal with our mom, we’re getting to know each other. It’s a little weird. I look at him and I see a grown man. It’s not like he hasn’t been grown for years—he’s in his 50s. I realize I’ve never thought of him that way. When I think of my brother, I remember the kid that constantly tried to make me throw up. I have a very weak stomach and he enjoyed grossing me out. I remember how he always wanted to touch my neck—knowing full well I hated for anyone to do that; still do. I have a lot of quirky hang-ups. I wonder if he remembers them.
A few weeks ago, I sat across the kitchen table watching my brother eat little cuties, those small clemetines that are a variety of mandarin orange, and I noticed how large his hands are, how thick his fingers. I realized he’s got our grandfather’s hands. For some reason, that brought a lump to my throat.
Here’s a picture of my brother’s hand holding my mother’s.
Have you ever looked at your brother or sister, or mom or dad, and noticed something you’d never noticed before? How did it affect you?