I’m not sure when your wee body with gigantic melon (it’s like an orange on a toothpick) was taken over by aliens, but I am freely admitting that you’re scaring me these days. Deep down in there, you’re the same wonderful child I’ve always adored, but lately, I’m sad to admit that I’ve revisited my visions of selling you to the gypsies (EVEN AT A LOSS).
I suppose that I’m sick of being told to bow to the Alter of My Wrongness for most anything that comes out of my mouth, and I think this might just be a prequel for your teenage days when you realize just what an idiot I am, and feel the need to tell me all about it frequently. As in every 2-3 minutes. Approximately.
But by the time you’re a teenager, I assume you’ll huffily declare how WRONG I am AND THEN GO TO YOUR ROOM AND SHUT THE DOOR, and I’m somewhat looking forward to this. Because now, you just follow me around telling me just how much more you know than I do WITHOUT INTERRUPTION OR LEAVING THE ROOM.
You’re a neat kid, really, you are, and you constantly shock and amaze me. Were it not for the 4th degree tears your bowling ball shaped head caused me (you’re too young for me to ever tell you WHAT exactly that means) and the fact that when you met me for the first time you screamed bloody murder, I would continually question your maternity and wonder if maybe MY sweet and docile mild-mannered child had been left in the care of someone who’d birthed the daemon spawn that was you as a baby (and young child, if I must elaborate).
But oddly shaped heads seem to run in my family (although my own head is quite lovely shaped THANKYOUVERYMUCH), and every now and again (especially as you pull all of the green peppers out of a taco JUST LIKE I DO), it dawns on me that you really are my child.
But for all of the annoying shit you do (the list is far too long for me to assemble without having a nervous breakdown), occasionally the sun will peak through the storm clouds and who you are underneath your layers of know-it-all-ness shines through.
Your relationship with your brother is a prime example. I am the youngest in my family, and despite my repeated pleas for a BETTER brother or sister for me to boss around, my mother dryly informed me that when I was born “smoking a cigar and barking out orders” (her exact words), she went ahead and got spayed. I’m frankly amazed she didn’t remove her entire uterus JUST IN CASE.
My own brother hated me passionately until my husband was fooled into marrying me, and as this is the only basis for comparison of older-younger sibling relations go, I was suitably underwhelmed when I imagined your reaction to your live, in the flesh brother. Your Daver and I did everything we could think of to prepare you for your brother’s arrival: we dutifully took you to a sibling class at the hospital, we bought you your very own doll to practice on, we bought you a book about where babies actually come from, we baked you a “Ben’s Having A Brother Cake” when we found out Alex too had a penis.
Your grandfather swears, however, that the reason that you like your brother so incredibly much is because “Alex” “bought” you a lightsaber and “brought” it to the hospital to give you when you met him for the first time.
I’m so incredibly fortunate that you and he have been inseparable ever since. You wear your multitude of Big Brother T-Shirts with much pride, and you’re always tickled whenever Alex comes to visit you at school.
It’s honestly the relationship I’ve always wished I had with my own brother, and I am proud that you have chosen to love your brother rather than resent him (I cannot possible take an ounce of credit for this. It was and always will be your own choice). I have never heard you say a mean, sullen, or resentful thing about him in his whole life, which is pretty miraculous considering what an asshole he used to be.
Each and every part of how my adulthood has shaped up has been due primarily to you. While this sounds like I’m placing the burden squarely upon your wee shoulders, I assure you that it couldn’t be farther from the truth. When you were born, I could only focus upon what was in front of me in the moment, and I promise you that although you had to go about the business of learning about the world, I was doing it right along side you (to be fair, I did know how to both feed myself AND walk, which were things that you had to master, so mayhap I was ahead of the game, if only slightly).
Wherever we’ve gone, and whatever we’ve learned, we’ve done it together, kid. Well before there was The Daver or Alex along side us, there was you and me against the world. And despite all of your bullshit these days (you are by far, the most intense person I’ve had the pleasure to meet) that flows so freely from your somewhat toothless mouth, I’ll never forget it. And maybe someday, when you’re older, I’ll explain it all to you, because you don’t know a damn thing about the life we had (which may be a better thing than not).
I can only hope and pray WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING that the rest of Six is marked by more sun shining through the storm clouds, because it’s honestly driving me a bit batty (okay, BATTIER than normal. Fine).
Let’s just try to get through this with all of our limbs intact, mmkay?