Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Loving Each Others

My brothers spent most of their adolescence trying to knock each other's heads off. They were best friends.

For a while I was in on it, too. I had the distinct advantage of being a normal size adopted kid in a family of biologically short siblings. As such, I towered over my brothers and was fun to wrestle with. I remember trudging across our back yard with a football under one arm and a brother attached to each leg. I always made it to the goal line because, try as they would, those 40 lb boys could not bring me down.
Even though my physical domination lasted until high school when my brothers shot up (although I was still at least a head taller than both of them until college), the tide started to change in middle school after the Battle of the Thumb Tack. Some time in the spring of 1991, the eldest of my brothers stole a thumb tack (we had one box among the four of us) from one of my college pennants and used it to tack up his own. I tried to take it back, and my brother almost threw me over the railing of the attic stairs. When they both joined the wrestling team it was the end of an era. Sure my little sister was scrappy and we had a few good fights--like the time she slammed my head into the side mirror of my mom's car when we were both going for the last Nestea in the garage, or when we would lunge at each other during a rowdy game of 52 card pick up--but it wasn't the same. My brothers might have left me behind, but they still wrestled each other throughout their adolescence (hell, they still do it now). I remember my mom watching mortified from the kitchen window as my brothers rolled around on the seventeenth green of golf course behind our house. What would the neighbors think? And that was just last week.

My in-laws live 1,252 miles away. We go to see them about twice a year. Before the fasten seatbelt sign has been turned off, my husband has de-boarded the plane and is trying to pin his brother in Terminal A.

I see that kind of love now in my daughters. They can't hug without falling to the ground. They hold hands and run as fast as they can, pulling each other in different directions until one or the other dislocates her shoulder. They spin around and bump into each other and fall down laughing and rolling around with big bumps on their heads. Every once in a while someone will cry, but then she'll get back up again and clamor for more. Ella might be taller, but her days are numbered. Addison isn't even two yet and can take her sister out. Pretty soon they'll be equally matched and the real hard loving will start.

Today the oldest told me "My baby sister is my best and best and best friend and she'll be my best friend forever. Even when she's super big she'll still be my best friend. Because we love each others." All of this is very sweet, but it also means I'm going to have to stock up on band aids. I've seen what happens when siblings love each others.

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  1. Very, very cute. Being the youngest of 3, I was bench pressed and thrown to the basement floor when my brother was done. No permanent damage though...

  2. Your brothers are short wrestlers...Steve is a short wrestler...hmmmm...hmmm...

    Wait a second! Steve tackled me into a deck railing, cracking it in half! Does this mean he loves me?

  3. Takes me back to when I was small. Hey, wait a minute I still am!!Uncle Jay loved to taunt and torment his younger sister-me. But I had one thing he didn't- Speed! I'd slam him right back and run like hell! He loved me and I "loved him right back."

  4. Those were the days. Stevie and JJ wrestling...oh,wait a minute, big Steve is in the middle. He loved pinning them and issuing chest thumps. Now, maybe not bigger but certainly able to "match wits" they challenge him to a rematch. His response - "I wouldn't want to hurt you!" Right!! Love throughout the ages is a wonderful thing...

  5. That reminds me of a game my dad used to play with us. It was called "Fighting Babies," and entailed him crawling across the floor while the four of us, well, fought him, each other, and anything that got in our way. Looking back I almost feel bad for him, what with the eight little (and not-so-little) fists pummeling him, but then I remember what would happen if one of us fell off... he would pull you under and thump you pretty much until you peed your pants. Or cried.

  6. The incident to which nick is referring was actually part of the original story and got edited out in the interest of keeping it short. From the cutting room floor:

    Just a couple of weeks ago my husband broke a friend's porch when he tried to tackle one of his friends over the railing. The friend then took him to the ground where they each tried to cut the other one's wind pipe off until I decided it was time to take my over served husband, and his friend, home. The incident wasn't proceeded by any sort of disagreement or feud--it was just two friends trying to take each other out. Both of their brothers live too far away to wrestle.