Thursday, November 4, 2010

"What's the big deal about THAT"

Memories rarely stick before you are four or five.
Possibly some hazy pictures in your mind, but nothing really detailed.
At least not for me.
But I have one memory that is pretty crystal clear from when I was five.
I had just returned home from kindergarten.
I had had a long morning trying to master the skills of not only learning but trying to nap on a small square of carpet so that I could someday be the nap monitor who had the coveted responsibility of walking around monitoring the nappers.
Did I mention I HATED naps when I was five?
Did I mention that I have finally outgrown that phase?
As I arrived at my house, I found it abuzz with excitement.
My mom had been gone for a couple of days and now finally she was back.
That at least seemed like good news.
I immediately wanted her attention but she seemed so preoccupied.
She led me into her bedroom and up to the edge of a giant white basket like thing.
She smiled widely as I peered over the edge.
And this is what I saw....

I stared for a minute or two and thought,
"What's the big deal about that?"
And I made my way to the kitchen for a snack.
I did NOT have a good feeling about the new changes.
As time went on I tried to adapt to the new rip in the fabric of the family.
No longer the baby of the family, I attempted to adjust to my new role as the middle child.
My older sister Precious thought he was wonderful.
She toted him around on her hip like he was a big ole sack of gold.
She changed his diaper and played with him on the floor.
She found his beloved "pa" when it was lost and put him to sleep in his crib.
Her "helpful older sister" routine raised her cachet in the family pecking order,
while I remained aloof and a self imposed "outsider".
You can see her adoring look in this photo. Notice me front and center in the photo.
(Really I mean inner child screams out for you to notice me)
As time passed, "what's the big deal about that" who was later named "Pesky David", and I formed our own special sort of relationship.
He would be allowed to stay but I remained cautiously aloof.
See my attempted half-smile and sisterly pat on the back from a safe distance?
I took note of the fact that since he was the baby of the family. 
He routinely had the plum assignments like putting the star on top of the felt advent calendar on Christmas Eve,
Not to worry though, I waited until no one was looking and pulled it off and stuck it back on properly.
And he was okay sometimes when there was a lack of anyone else to play with like on family vacations.
Although our playing resembled fighting much of the time and did usually end in someone yelling for the ultimate referee...
"MOM, did you see what he just did?"
He was a child with no "personal space" and liked to give wet sloppy kisses.
Plus who wears a pirate hat with a plaid suit?
I struggled to smile for this picture and even he couldn't face the camera with open eyes.
Ignoring him as teenager became even easier as "ignoring" is a competitive sport in those days.
His peskiness though seemed to intensify with that and he would often tell me that when he was a grown-up he was going to get married and have 6 sons,
and they would all be just like him,
and he would send them to live with me every summer.
Yeah right, I said, As if I will give you my address then anyway.
Going away for four years of college and marriage did seem to mellow the rivalry and he started to seem not quite as pesky as I had remembered and we could often "play nice" long enough to take a decent picture or two.
We grew.
We both started our own families.
We lived in different states.
We visited each other once in awhile....
And along the way, discovered something very interesting....
and special.
"what's the big deal about that"
"pesky David"
was pretty alright as brothers go.
In fact at times he has been downright amazing.
And our relationship has been as this picture suggests...a lifesaver.
We laugh at the same jokes,
We share similar values,
We share a rich tapestry of memories,
and we have each others back.
So I guess as it turns out,
My five year old self was wrong, at least about one thing...
You are a big deal.
Happy Birthday Baby Davey.
I love you.


Heidi said...

I loved seeing all the fun pictures. They brought back a lot of good memories. I am soooo glad I was not the baby of the family and that I had a VERY cool younger brother and sister!! Baby Davey has definitely been the "icing on the cake" in the family! Happy Birthday!!

Just ME the MOM said...

OooOooo! What a cute post . . . I'd say that pesky little brother didn't turn out to bad at all :)


David Lauck said...

Well, I finally got to a computer and was able to read this beautiful post. Mission accomplished! You had me in tears. Thank you so much for taking the time to caputure your feelings and pictures. While I did enjoy teasing you when we were young, I have always admired and looked up to you. I know I can always talk with you and you just get it. We share a special bond and I am so greatful to have you as my sister. I love you dearly and am grateful that you learned to accept me through the years. :-)

Love you