Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How Did This Happen?

December 20, 1997, I had a voice recital.  My then about-23-months-pregnant mother looked down at her stomach and said, "Curtis, you can not be born today.  Today is your Sissy's day.  You can be born tomorrow, but you can not be born today."

Around eight the next morning, Mom's water broke. 

That was the first and only time my brother has ever obeyed my mother.

When he was two, Curt got into Teletubbies.  Mom and I took him through the toy aisle at Target, which was loaded with Teletubbies.  Curt wanted to hug one.  Specifically, he wanted to hug Dipsy, the green one.  Somehow, this kid, with a seatbelt and two grown women holding him down (we knew better than to let a hand or eye off of this Houdini-child), managed to fall out of the shopping cart and land head first on the floor.  Mom screamed.  He screamed.  Dad screamed.  They headed straight for the emergency room (followed by ice cream--kid was fine).  I grabbed the doll and headed for the register. 

When he was four, Mom took Curt on a tour of the Battleship USS Alabama.  She kept one hand and two eyes on him, but she did have to blink occasionally.  During one of those split-seconds, he managed to run off, jump some velvet ropes, and start climbing up the side of the ship.  She grabbed him up off of the ladder and started pointing to the ropes and to several signs posted throughout the area.

Mom:  "Do you see that sign!?  It says DO NOT CLIMB!"
Curt:  *right up in her face, nose to nose* "I CAN NOT READ!"

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mom allowed him to live after that incident.  It's a miracle.

It doesn't matter the age difference, sibling rivalry exists. It begins at birth. I remember the time I looked at my sweet baby brother, laying peacefully in his car carrier, and whispered, "I love you". He growled at me.

There was the time Mom needed to run in to the grocery store for one or two items.  It would be a five minute trip for one person, but about a twenty or thirty minute trip with a six year-old, so I offered to stay in the car and babysit.  After Mom got out, I reached over and switched on the car's motor to run the air-conditioning.  Five minutes later, when Mom got back in the car, Curt looks at me, in all seriousness, and says, "I'm sorry, Sissy.  MOM, SISSY TURNED ON THE CAR!!  Sissy, I'm so sorry.  MOMMY, SISSY TURNED ON THE CAR!!!"  I was 23 or 24 at the time--old enough to drive and have children of my own!  The child was throwing me under the bus.  Awesome.  Mom explained to him that it was okay, and when he was older and had a driver's license, he could turn on the car, too. 

This is the child who, as an infant, laughed a friend of mine off the property on Prom Night.  Chip's date had gotten ready at my house, and when he showed up to pick her up, Curt must have thought the tux was the funniest thing he'd ever seen.  You haven't lived till you've seen a five month-old try to compose himself.

The kid has taught me more over the years than college ever did.  For instance, I have learned that you have the strangest dreams when someone crawls in your bed at 6 am on a Saturday and turns on Dora the Explorer while you're still dead asleep.  I also learned that little brothers give the best hugs and make the best teddy bears. 

From Curt's pre-school year until somewhere around second grade, I ceased to be known as Erin, and became "Curtis' Sissy".  That's around the time I learned that field trips are a heck of a lot more fun when you're a grown up.

Most importantly, I learned that Brother-Sister Day is the greatest, and should be a National Holiday.  That's when little brothers and big sisters (who are old enough) ditch Mom and Dad for a trip to the movies and for ice cream. 

I have learned that you have to put down the duckie if you want to play the saxaphone.  Curt learned that, and is now a fantastic little sax player, if I do say so myself.

I have learned that they grow up too fast.  It really doesn't seem like that long ago that I was rolling him up in his blanket like a baby burrito.  Now, he's almost as tall as I am (I have one more inch on him, and will relish calling him "the short one" until he passes that mark).  His feet are bigger than mine.  He has a girlfriend.  He almost has an attention span. 

He's thirteen, and he's perfect.  Happy Birthday, Baby.  Sis loves you.

1 comment:

  1. oh, peanut, happy birthday! it's too weird.

    i remember passing him around from friend to friend when he'd cry as a teeny infant. i remember how we were basically ordered to have our christmas party the night he was born in spite of all the excitement. i remember bringing him a t-shirt from my college for his first birthday.

    it's too freaking weird that he's a TEENAGER.


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