My sister, Jill Thompson is guest blogging. Her subject, same as me - our brother Tim. I shared the big sister's perspective. Now enjoy this one from the little sister. cr
Oh Brother (Part 2)
My sister is a writer. She is a really good writer. She’s been writing amazing poems for years. My favorite was one she wrote and read to me on my wedding day, nearly 14 years ago. She has also authored several books and has her own “writer’s blog”. She recently posted a blog titled, “Oh, Brother…” If I were asked to pick which blog is my favorite, this one is it. She described my brother and many memories they shared while growing up. Several of the instances she mentioned brought back clear and vivid memories, while others surprised me and some things I didn’t know at all. I realized that the two of them have a relationship of their own. While I share that relationship, I have my own different relationship with each of them. Of course, since my sister is the oldest and I’m the youngest – it creates a very different perspective. This has prompted me to write my own “Oh, Brother…” blog. Because my sister is a writer, and I’m not, I hope she will forgive me for a bit of plagiarism.
I’ve heard of sibling rivalry. I’ve experienced it. Because my brother is over four years older than me, we weren’t exactly rivals. He had all those years of experience before I came along. He had practiced “pestering” my older sister for years – and I was often targeted with teasing and fighting too. He told me there was no such thing as Santa Claus. He laughed at my hairy legs. He teased me the first time I wore panty hose. He told me my cat was trapped in a can – which actually filled my face with green smoke when I tore it open. Worst of all he’d sometimes say I was adopted. Of course I dished it out too. After all, I learned by watching him and my sister “fight”. I snickered at him while he got ready for dates. I snooped in his closet and his room. I busted him in the face. I’m sure if I asked him, he could recall many more things.
Fonder memories include the times when he was my savior. At an age where I was a gangly girl, a couple of boys decided to pick on me and another girl, by splattering us with pieces of watermelon. Once my brother learned what happened, those bullies found themselves covered with sticky watermelon splats! He also often broke my show steers to lead, and took the bulk of load when it came to taking care of the livestock. Of course that gave him the right to name his 4-H pigs after me too.
As I started an inventory of memories for writing this blog, what actually struck me most weren’t the times we fought or even the times of sentiment. The countless memories dropped into the list are the things he taught me, and the times he championed me. He spent countless hours with me in the back yard pitching softballs or helping me shoot free throws. He quizzed me on my multiplication tables so that I was the first one in my class to the top of the rocket. When I started tennis lessons, he took me to the courts for practice – even when he’d been working 70 hours a week during wheat harvest. He is the one responsible for instilling a competitive drive in me. His example and his pep talks are what has helped me continue to set goals and have the confidence to meet them.
Of course all those years growing up with my brother do have sentiment. “Crashing” with him on the divan while we watched television – often MASH episodes - is one of the fondest thoughts that comes to mind. Of course it wasn’t long before we’d be arguing about who should get up to change the channels. It was also my big brother who bought me one of my all-time most treasured Christmas presents – a pair of Calvin Klein jeans – when I was at that awkward age of fourteen.
In my sister’s blog, she wrote that nowadays, we don’t fight anymore. I guess my brother and I have been known to continue to fight, but it doesn’t have the heat it once did. My brother is still one of the first I call with good news and he is still one of my biggest supporters. His influence made me strong and made me tough. How could I not be tough? After all, he must have football-tackled me nearly two thousand times through the years.(Not to mention the karate move that gave me a concussion)