Thursday, July 2, 2009
My brother, sister in law and their daughter was visiting for the 4th. The house is quiet and I have lots of cleaning to do. I've been itching to blog while they've been here. I've shown great restraint!
I held my brother captive playing Scrabble and Password while they were here. He's a year and two days older than me. My birthday is June 13th and his is June 11th. My mother is also a Gemini, born June 2nd. I refer to Joe as my "baby brother." He stands an impressive 6' 2" and weighs about 260. Not so tiny! His sense of humor and love of high jinks is as big as his stature. His hazel eyes are now framed by brown, slightly grey at the temples, thick shocks of hair.
As usual, we talk about the days growing up together. Lots of laughing, wheezing, and "Oh my God, I forgot about that time!" His 13 year old daughter loves to hear these stories and see her dad in a more youthful lens.
We grew up in a time when you could ride your Big Wheel down the road for hours until Mom would lean out the patio door and ring the little school bell for lunch. We would spend lost afternoons in our backwoods building tree houses and lifting up rocks hoping to discover salamanders. We would play with Matchbox cars in the sandbox and then catch Monarch butterflies, running thru open fields of Lazy Susan's. We would swing on overgrown vines over the pond. We would ice skate on it in the winter and build bonfires. I remember late summer twilight's rolling down our grassy bank until we were breathless and the grass had turned our clothes and flushed faces greenish black.
My childhood memories hold glimpses of my sister and older brother too. My memories of Joey and I, rag-a-muffins, in our corduroys and western, mother of pearl button down shirts, pursuing box turtles or doe through the woods are still so fresh, so pungent in my mind. Joe taught me how to tie my shoes when I was three. He would share his sandwich with me when I had greedily finished mine first. He taught me the delicate art of twisting the cookie open so filling would be on both halves.
When we both starting dating, we shared our secrets, our crushes, our first "Well did you kiss?" During one of our many teenage summers, mom and dad were camping for a week, we had the house to ourselves. That week, and how we spent it with our friends is still something of a legend that only Joe and I share as our secret. We were fearless, free, excitement around every corner. We were young, scared, shy, eager to explore the world. We had each other. There is no better joy than to relive the past with my little brother. I see Lola and Gibson, several years from now, hand in hand guiding each other through life as only a brother and sister will do.