After the Civil-war era canon ball fell from the landing onto the step behind me, I realized my longtime wishes for a sibling were unfounded.
I could have lived without sharing a room as a 10-year-old with my screaming infant brother. Or the constant attention the cute little guy stole. Or just the day-to-day life of a toddler mixed with a too-cool-for-school teenage.
Yep, that day on the stairs was the physical culmination of all those years of contempt, for both of us.
His version of the story: “My sister pushed me down the wooden stairs.”
Ahhhh. And despite all of our heated battles and physical confrontations, I probably wouldn’t have sold him. He’s a perfect compliment to my dramatic side, and gave my upbringing that little extra edge of excitement, whether I liked it at the time or not.
All my friends thought he was “soo cute” and he had quite the imagination. People said he reminded them of our Grandpa Don. The personality-plus type.
I don’t know where time flew, but some time not too long ago, my little brother, Jackson, became Uncle Brett. And now he’s at least 6 feet tall. And he has lady friends. And he drives.
Age has brought forth some very different personality traits I wouldn’t have imagined for him. He’s very mellow and nice. An even-tempered guy who cares about others. Very polite and helpful. NOTHING like the animated toddler who tried to “kill” me with a canon ball.
And now that we are both “grown up,” our relationship has changed. He’s not the annoying short man who steals the spotlight from me and terrorizes my friends.
He’s the guy I call to come watch the kids when I’ve got to go to the store.
He’s the guy I make “eyes” at when Dad is being Dad.
I still categorize us both as “only children,” but our age difference has allowed us a unique relationship.
I’m still young enough I can know what he’s going through, but old enough that I’ve made some bad decisions I’m not afraid to advise him on.
Like I’ve mentioned before, Jackson’s side of the story of our life together is probably VERY different than mine. But when all is said and done, I hope he sees beyond my bosy teenage years and absent college time and sees a sister who loves him.
I’ll never forget the moment I first saw him squirming under the lamps as a newborn in the hospital. I won’t soon forget his contagious baby giggle or the stories of his toddler-hood. And I won’t forget the sound of my very grown-up baby brother reading story books to my babies.
My prayers never end without the mention of his name, and I can’t imagine what life will be like when he has a family of his own.
Yep, my life was turned upside-down back then. But who knew upside-down was the way it was always meant to be.