But I suppose at 2 & 3 years old, and living out in the middle of nowhere, we probably were each other's best friend. At that time anyway. A few years later? Oy.
Make no mistake, we fought and terrorized each other...A LOT! I remember him hiding under my bed and grabbing my ankle as I walked by. And I wonder if he can still see the scars on his leg from when I fought back with the metal extension tubes from the old vacuum cleaner. (Honest! I plead self-defense!)
Truth be told (and I can't believe I'm going to admit this...) I adore my big brother, and I am incredibly proud of him and what he's accomplished. Make no mistake...sometimes it was REALLY hard being in his shadow. Honor Roll, Top 10% of his graduating class, heading off to college at a Big 10 school right after high school was really impressive, and now he's about to start his final year of working towards his PhD. In Old Testament something-or-other. I should know by now, but I can never seem to remember.
I have specific memories of my brother and I - those favorite little pieces that stay in the corners of my mind...
I remember playing for HOURS together with his Hot Wheels / Matchbox cars. And he had a set of semi-trucks too. We had hundreds of crayons - old ones from previous school year supply boxes...and we would use these crayons to make roads for our cars and semis to travel back and forth between our bedrooms. The freeway was always in the hallway...and once we entered our respective bedrooms it was almost like a little town all it's own.
But before we would begin building the roads, we took the time to, one-by-one, taking turns picking out which cars we wanted. There were his favorite "hot rods" and my favorite "cute" cars (In particular a cadillac town car was always a favorite of mine.)
And yet he never wanted to play together with my Barbie dolls. Hmmm...what was up with that?
I also remember the summer that mom and dad bought a new washer and dryer and we thought we had the greatest new toys that were ever given to us - The two large boxes that the set came in. I can't even imagine what passing cars must have thought as they drove by our house to see these two boxes just rolling around in the yard with a little kid in each one pushing it around like a couple of hamsters in a hamster wheel.
There were many days that were spent visiting our grandparents while they lived and were employed at the Pokagon State Park in Indiana - we would wander the hotel together, play on the wooden playset together imagining it was a ship in the middle of the ocean (a pirate ship I believe it was), and there were more games of 1-on-1 baseball (with LOTS of "ghost" players), hide and seek, and bike rides down the back county roads that led to the neighboring state (which we were never allowed to cross the state line!), and there was that one time that the Christmas tree toppled over when mom wasn't home (I'm innocent...really! Well, not really...)
But this is my absolute all-time favorite memory -
The day he walked me down the aisle at my wedding -
the little stinker even made me cry at the very last minute too!
Brothers, can't live with 'em...can't live without 'em. But what WAS he thinking with that mustache?