Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Oh, Brother!

I was a very happy child. It was me, my parents, my "city" grandmother and my "country" grandparents. Then the unthinkable happened. My brother was born. Why me? What did I do to deserve this, him?! I was a good child. I listened and obeyed my parents. What did I do wrong?

My brother had my number from day one. He was a happy little boy who could get under my skin and push my buttons with no apparent effort at all! Brion was born in early June. I have no recollection of my mom being pregnant. No recollection of Brion's birth and his coming home for the first time. What I remember the most about that summer is that Mrs. Engelmann from across the street would come over early in the morning, get me out of bed, dressed and take me over to her house. I could play in my backyard with Janet, Terry and Dolores, but I was forbidden from going into the house until after lunch time.

Lunch time was no fun either. I was a child of simple tastes. PB&J worked just fine for me add a glass of milk and I was good to go. Unfortunately, the Engelmann's didn't have any peanut butter, no one in their house ate peanut butter. I was offered (and turned my nose up at) cream cheese - blech! I was miserable! And you know whose fault it was -- that little baby intruder in MY house - Brion!
Fast forward a couple of years. As a pre-teen and teen I had to "watch" my brother after school while my mom worked. By then Brion had finely honed his button pushing skills and had a different button for any and all occasions. The good news is that I got to move upstairs and had the whole second floor to myself along with my own bathroom, very cool!

I went away to college and Brion got, well, tolerable. The saying is "absence makes the heart grow fonder" well, for me "absence makes the brother bearable". He started to become human and not such a bad kid after all.

Over the intervening years we've both gotten married, we live a good distance apart and are very, very different people. He's conservative, I'm liberal. He still lives on Long Island and is very acclimated to the fast pace, living close to the city, loves the water and can talk easily to anyone, anywhere, anytime and throws great parties. I've lived mostly out of the state or in upstate NY - country, cows and corn. I like the mountains, I'm not crazy about the heat, the sun or the ocean. Give me a nice clean, chlorinated pool and air conditioning. I'm a fumble mouth around strangers, talking to people doesn't come easily to me and I'm uncomfortable at parties.

So, you may think that with all that we don't have in common we have a so-so relationship. Well, I've got to tell you, next to my husband, my brother is the most important man in my life. He is a wonderful husband, married to an equally wonderful woman, he was a rock after our parent's car accident and took control and handled a thousand and one details including, but not limited to, the subsequent selling of my parent's house.

He is a fabulous father, he is adored by my daughter, his niece, and I can't begin to tell you how proud of him I am. He still can push my buttons, but I also know he will always have my back (and climb up on a ladder in January to fix my roof if I ask him to). I love him more than I can tell you (and him) and I wish him a very happy, belated birthday - because he still manages to forgive me when I send his card late, and don't talk about him in my blog.
Happy Birthday Obie!


Anonymous said...

Now thats more like it. Thanks for the very, very kind words. I love you very much to.

Tracy said...

love this post! It gives me hope for my growing girls - lol!

Jan said...

You'll be happy to know that the Moran/Engelmann household always has the extra large (Sam's Club) size jar of peanut butter on hand. Stop by any time for a sandwich! However it would be safe to say the a jar of pb has probably never made it into my parents home!

Anonymous said...

That was so sweet... He is the best man I know and I'm lucky to have him as a father... I can only hope that Joe will become tolerable one day as well... lol:)