3/5/10

Brothers are.....a nuisance.


I still have a scar below my knee where my sister K. pushed me off of her bed when we were young. Do you have scars like that? The sibling relationship is a curious mix of love and hate. When we are young, it is a terrible itch that we are constantly scratching – often drawing blood.


I remember Bitchy's reaction when we brought Sassy home from the hospital. It only took her a week to decide that she was quite an inconvenience and would bite Sassy on the foot if we ever left them unattended (which we learned early on NEVER to do). I remember one time in particular when they were three and five I heard them laughing and laughing in the dining room. I decided to sneak a peek to see what was so humorous, and to my horror I saw that Bitchy had colored her Sassy from head to toe with blue magic marker. It was not a washable marker, and she looked like a Smurf for at least a week.

In school sharing we often hear about these tumultuous relationships at home.

Jack: My brother is sometimes mean when we play! He thinks he owns the basement and sometimes kicks me out. Then I stomp upstairs and turn off the lights and lock him down there.

John: My brother always takes my toys – he pulls them out of my hand. I say “no thank you” and he STILL does it!

Hye-lei: My sister shouts at me to get out of the car faster!

Brian: I would take Hye’s sister!

Hye: No, Brian, she shouts a lot.

My own brother was born in the south of France 44 years ago this August. My family was living in Nice, on the French Riviera, in a lovely old stone villa that was surrounded by a stone fence that was filled with snails. We were a short walk from the Mediterranean Sea, although I was far too young to appreciate it (I was three when we moved there.). My father was a JAG officer with the Sixth Fleet, and we were lucky enough to spend several amazing years there. My mother was NOT pleased about the chameleons that would infest the villa, but the fact that we lived near the actor David Niven balanced that out nicely.


When my little brother was born, the nurse in attendance announced to my mother (who spoke not a WORD of French) “C'est un garçon ! Un grand garçon!” Which I’m pretty sure means “big boy!” For years to follow my older sister and I would relentlessly tease “garcon” by insisting that the French “gendarmerie” were going to come for him when he was 21 to take him back to France. We LOVED to make him cry. That is, until he got so big that he would hold us down and make us cry; then it wasn’t quite as fun anymore. A few years ago, my sister and I discovered other ways in which he had retaliated against our taunting. At my grandmother’s funeral, my brother’s boyhood friends told me that he would sell “peeks” into the bathroom keyholes of our old house whenever my sister and I took our baths at night. He always got more money for her. (She was very, um, uh, blessed.)

As we grow older the sibling relationship becomes something quite different. In my own family we have clung to each other through the sudden losses of both our mother and our father. We’ve rejoiced in our own marriages, the births of our children and their own misfortunes and successes. We laugh and rejoice when we see glimpses of our parents in the faces and talents of our children. We beamed with our sister at high school graduations, and tearfully held her through the funeral of her youngest son. We rejoice in the small moments of success and happiness, and treasure these bonds that have kept us moving forward through this adventure called life.

And now, 44 years after the birth of our little garcon, I can honestly say I love him like a brother. Which, of course if you ask him, is very, very convenient. (And for those of you out there who paid him for peeks- we will track you down…)


It's a repost.




Sue me.




34 comments:

3 Men and a Lady said...

You mother was beautiful. She looks so stylish in those pictures.

The Pipster said...

I wish I was closer to my brothers. I am the oldest (the only girl). We never really fought or interacted that much. Now, my evil cousin on the other hand threw a rock at my face and I have a scar on my nose and above my eye.

Happily buzzed on vodka and Fresca :)

HT said...

Just came across your blog and found it hilarious and will definitely be following along with the other 1,500 followers out there.

Ellie said...

And this is why being an identical twin is so much fun...

Keyona said...

Just wrote a post about the love I have for my brother. Love this post repost or not.

Steven Anthony said...

the sibling thing is strange, but I owe my life to my sis deb, she is brilliant.

ChiTown Girl said...

I have a mark (not quite a scar, more like a dot) on my thigh where my brother, at the age of about 2, plunged a pencil into my leg, breaking the tip of the lead off in my thigh!!

ReadingRosie said...

To this I can totally relate!

http://www.readingrosie.com/2009/04/sibling-moment.html

Carrie said...

How appropriate for me to read this tonight. My 20mo bit her 3.5yo sister on the back today. Not enough to break the skin but I'm sure there will be a bruise.

Sigh, ah sibling love!

Joanie M said...

and just as amusing the second time around!

Joanie M said...

and your mom looks HAWT in that picture!

Snappy Di said...

Oh yes... a repost. You will be hearing from my attorney very soon. LOL

Great post.
Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Awake In Rochester said...

My two male cousins use to try to kill eachother when they were young, fighting. Now they are best friends. It's odd, yet I'm glad!

Zip n Tizzy said...

Having been an only child for most of my childhood, I made sure I had at least two kids. While they may fight, my boys are one another's best friends. Tonight I heard them explaining to a friend of theirs that you can call your brother your friend because he's your friend as well as your brother. They can drive each other nuts but they have one another for life. What a gift.
Happy Birthday to the young garcon.

gretchen said...

I love that your kids Bravehearted each other.

Your mom was SO glamorous. Beautiful!

♥ Braja said...

Sue you? Ah, you're just lookin' for some excitement, Boston Legal style, aren't you?

Suzy said...

When my sister was 9 months old and laying on the couch I slapped her. My mother shouted at me and said "Suzy, why did you do that?" and I replied "Because she was bad."

The Wifey said...

I put my 2 week old little sister in the trash can once while my grandmother was babysitting us. When grandma picked her out of the trash I begged her to take her to Walmart & get a refund. Haha!

Secretia said...

What do you mean "paid him for peeks?" Was it to peek at you?

Secretia

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

It's amazing how much that relationship changes over time. The same kid that used I used to roll around on the floor in the most vicious fist fights with, is now my most cherished friend.

Irish Gumbo said...

Wow. Trees and apples...lovely repost :)))

madtexter ☺☺☺☺☺☺ (corey james) said...

I don't have any scars from fights with my two older siblings (they were never fast enough to catch me. Although there was that time when I was 3 or 4 years old, and my sister put me in a plastic toy baby carriage (with the wheels broken off), and slid me down a long flight of stairs into a wall.

Years later, I fell about 15-20 feet after the vine I was swinging on broke. (There were vines in the gully that was behind our house on the Chesapeake Bay). My sister was with me, and she screamed in horror. When I heard her I stayed hidden behind the log I fell next too and started giggling. It angered her that she had to come over and see if I was dead or not, and there I was laughing. Push me down the stairs in a baby buggy, will ya?

CatLadyLarew said...

You never really appreciate your siblings until you're an adult. Mine are pretty amazing... even if they do still make me crazy sometimes!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I don't think I ever saw this one... But I love it - I have my own little brother. For the most part - I was pretty nice to him. But I did have him convinced that he had a small bald spot on the very back of his head. Like - for years.

Vodka Logic said...

great story thanks..

I wish I was closer to my sister..but not ready.

mo.stoneskin said...

Looking like a Smurf aint all bad.

This post reminded me, loosely and pathetically (but never mind) if the time when my little sister ran out into the garden, tripped in a hole and cracked her head on the climbing frame. I spotted my little princess of a sister on the ground in tears and ran out to help her...

*trip*

*crack*

I'm just glad my mum didn't trip when she ran out!

Anna See said...

i won't sue you. i loved it both times!

loved looking at the pics, too, petite mademoiselle!

Everyday Goddess said...

My brother and I have always gotten along well, even when he is being a teensy bit petty.

BTW, You look so much like your mother! Lovely!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm glad you reposted this. I didn't see it the first time-- It's wonderful.

Have a great weekend.
jj

Assertive Wit said...

it might be a repost but it's new to me LOL

makes me want to write about my siblings...I think you gave me my new blog idea :)

phd in yogurtry said...

I've got a scar embedded in my eyebrow - from standing on my brother's stomach while he rolled back and forth and suddenly he did a fast jerky roll and into the corner of the TV console I went.

Kate said...

I perfected the art of beating my sister while yelling, "Mom! Mom, she's HITTING ME!"

Funny. My mom never came up.

Bitch was onto me.

Anonymous said...

My mother was our Girl Scout leader and when we had meetings at our house our brother would take the girls to little sister's bedroom and show them the boogers she had put on her wall. We didn't find this out for about 30 years! Those were some good times.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

A great posting, VKMom, and what beauties you all are in that picture, and even so now...

Merci mille x