|We are so very children of the 80's in this picture.|
He has always been my protector. I think even when we were teenagers and he didn't like me or want me around he was still protecting me. After all I am his little sister and no one can hurt me but him. When we were very young though it was different. When we were very young he protected me very loudly and very fiercely.
My first day of kindergarten my mom told my brother that it was his job to keep me safe. He took this responsibility very seriously. I am told he carried my back pack for me and made sure I got to the right waiting spot in the cafeteria in the mornings. I am also told he insisted on walking with me to class which was a problem because he was supposed to be walking to his 1st grade class at that time. Mom had to make him back down after that.
That same year my mom learned that not only was he super protective of me, but I was incredibly fond of him. Kindergarten was only a half day affair, and I went in the mornings. I got home one day around lunch time and as my mom was helping me out of my coat and back pack in the front entry way I noticed something odd.
I could see out the huge windows that looked onto our back porch, and there was a little blonde boy playing outside. I did not recognize this little boy and it seemed very odd to me that a strange child would be playing on my back porch when both my brother and I were at school. So I asked my mom who the little boy was.
My mother, with a completely straight face, told me this was my new brother. She told me that I was always fighting with the old one so she traded him in for a new one that I might get along with better. Yes that is right my mom told me she traded my brother in for a new model.
I began to sob. I can remember being absolutely distraught over the thought of my brother being gone and this strange blonde kid replacing him. I was absolutely inconsolable and my mother just stood there and let me cry.
I kept insisting that I did not want a new brother. I wanted my brother back. Only my brother would do. My mom insisted it was too late, and I would have to deal with the new brother.
Eventually my grandmother came to my rescue. I don't really know how long my mom kept a straight face through this incident. I was too busy being distraught. There is nothing pretty about a distraught five year old. I do still remember how horrible and lost I felt though.
No matter what we have been through or how far apart we are he will always be my brother. He will always be the guy that explored our aunt's property with, the guy that spent the better part of a summer designing and building a trap in the park to get the neighborhood bully, the guy who terrified all the guys in school so I had no dating life as a teenager, the guy who made an extra trip to apologize for other peoples bad behavior at my wedding, the guy who was and is always there for me.
We may not see each other or even talk very often, but he is still my brother. I love him so very much and would not trade him for another one ever. He is my brother, and he is the best big brother in the world.
Happy birthday Matty!