i distinctly remember the first day he came home from he hospital. he was in a bassinet in the living room. my mom changed his diaper and he peed on the canopy of the bassinet. i knew then and there i wanted him to go back. i asked my parents to take him back. sadly, they'd really been trying for a second kid and wanted to keep him. he is six years younger than me.
it didn't help that up until then not only was i an only child, i was an only grandchild on both sides of the family. spoiled might be a fitting word, though i prefer precocious. within a year i not only had a baby brother but three boy cousins. i had lost my only grandchild status and only child status in one fell swoop. damn those breeders.
i suppose for a long time i really didn't like my brother. i'm sure it was a spoiled, jealousy thing. we tolerated each other for most of our childhood. we fought. we beat each other up. well, mostly back then i beat him up. that all changed one day when i came home from college for the weekend or a holiday (i can't remember which) and he was in high school. we liked each other more then, i guess we'd matured some, but we were horsing around in the kitchen and the moment he wrestled me to the floor and i couldn't get up i knew the tides had changed. he could kick my ass now.
the next few years we became closer. we shared adventures...usually involving a car and doing some damage to it. i let him drive my car once when i wasn't supposed to and we crashed into a tree. another time i fell asleep (BRIEFLY) at the wheel and we hit a guard rail. both events required lying to the parents and forged our solidarity.
as we became adults and started our families we had a rough few years of discord, but, for years now he has been one of my best friends. we don't talk every day or email every day....but...i love it when we do. even though we have different memories and experiences of our childhood and parents, their inability to be good parents brought us closer together. we learned to lean on each other and turn to each other for support, advice and love.
so many times he's made my day and not even realized it. he'd call me at work and tell me a horrible joke in one of his funny voices; or he (and the hubs) get together and reenact beavis and butthead. he is a cut up. a clown. he makes me laugh.
and, oddly enough...there are times when without even knowing it he's given me advice or shared something he's learned or heard and it makes me laugh or think. sometimes i feel like the younger sibling, looking to him for guidance. he's always been stronger when it comes to dealing w/ my parents. he's always had a stronger faith/conviction than i have. he's good w/ kids. he likes kids. my kids like him. they always know though....whatever you do to him (play a joke, rough house, etc.) he will bring it back to you tenfold.
we were talking on the phone last night and he told me that when puddin' (my baby niece) was changing clothes the other day her head was poking out of her shirt and she looked like cornholio : )