When I first started blogging it was all about my family. I gave all my brothers and sisters names based on their personalities or inside family jokes and I began a “Meet The Fam” series where I described each of them.
I started with my older brother Bad Ass and managed to get through Bianca and Lolo before my turn came up. Lolo and Baby guest posted in a part one and part two series description of me and I was supposed to follow up with a post about my little brother Smart Ass and my little sister Baby.
Only I didn’t.
I will now.
Mom said she knew Smart Ass was a smart cookie when at three she told him to watch his mouth and he slowly cast his eyes downward before declaring that he couldn’t see it. There was no telling him “no” without receiving a thoughtful rebuttal.
When our Dad died my brother was five and everybody was soooo worried about him. It bugged me. I didn’t understand why just because he was a boy we all had to be worried about him not having a Dad. As if losing a Dad when you’re “just a daughter” is so much easier.
I figured crying louder and writing poems would prove that I was more hurt than he was. Years later I would see that the affects of growing up without Dad really were significantly different for SA than they were for me. Asking my Mom to buy a cup for baseball was never as difficult for me as it was for him.
As kids, my brother adored me. He knew I could beat him up and we both enjoyed teaming up to make our baby sister’s life a living hell. It was comedy. While he spent most of his time creating an enemy out of her I reaped the rewards of his friendship which included free access to his room and video games, a percentage of any money sent to him from our brother living on base, the Mother Confidentiality Agreement (no telling on each other), and the “I don’t eff with you, you don’t eff with me” understanding of 1992.
If I felt my position with him was a little shaky I knew all I had to do was push my little sister down the stairs to get in his good graces again. Not that I cared. I mean he was my little brother…but as he got older I found that being on his team was much more beneficial to me.
He’s that guy that if you tell him to stop talking loudly he’ll inevitably get louder. He’s incredibly amused when he can get under your skin and if you’ve got thick skin than he won’t get to you and you can sit back and smile fondly when he does it to other people. The trick is keeping your skin thick.
He also tries to be funny…exhibit a. from his Facebook status updates:
and then there was this:
In high school Smart Ass grew about five feet one summer. No one saw it coming. In retrospect it made sense because when we were young he always had the most gigantic head and feet you’d ever seen.
Classmates often ridiculed him for those qualities, but the laughs on them because at six foot nine my brother dwarfs each of them.
My Mom has long said that little boys have a special way of wrapping their mothers right around their fingers. She’d make his lunches for him well after the high school cut off and we girls often watch in disgust as he wraps his great big arms around her in a bear hug and then flips us off with his free hand. He knows he’s got her too.
Even as a little thing he’d get into big trouble with all of us and after watching my sister and I receive spankings he’d wave his hands in the air, screaming about how he didn’t do anything. And she’d let him be!
In high school he almost died.
Our family was grief stricken as we held vigil in the hospital waiting for him to come out of his coma. Waiting to hear if he would remember us. Waiting for any sign that our brother was still in there. And that he was the same. My step-dad was riddled with cancer and should have been resting. Instead he was by my brother’s side…those long days and the stress they caused took precious days from what little time we had left with him.
I knew my brother was going to be okay after a few days when I sat at his bedside and in his unconscious stupor he worked to wriggle his hand out of my loving clasp. We aren’t a “holding hands” type of family. Ever. That he recognized this and wanted me to get away from him was one of the most delightful moments of my life.
He’s fine now. Lives five minutes away from my house and the only hand my brother wants to be holding lately is his boys. Turns out those little devils wrap their dads around their fingers just as tightly as they wrap their mamas. I’ve never seen Smart Ass in love with anything or anyone like he is with his boy.
Which shows me that buried deep deep down under that great big guy is somebody with a heart. Somebody who is a mama’s boy and somebody who should feel comfortable holding my hand in the hospital.
Maybe next time.