FILED IN: Parenting

A Brother’s Love

I haven’t spoken to my twin brother in a while.  We seem to be missing each other, a lot.  The last few Sundays, at my parents’ house.  My sister-in-law was sick.  My kids were sick.  He was sick.  Their empty casserole dish is still sitting on a chair in the kitchen and I honestly couldn’t tell you when I’ll be seeing them next.

It’s complicated.

Oh, they only live an hour or so away, but I haven’t spoken to my brother since Christmas and he didn’t call Thing Two, or The Boy (or, send a card) to wish them Happy Birthday and – although my children and I miss him, terribly – I’m not sure that I really want to.

Call him, I mean.

A lot has changed since my brother got married 5 years ago and – although, I know that our love for each other is still the same – my brother and I both lead very busy lives which, unfortunately, means that we don’t get to see each other, very often.

But, when we do get together it’s like when we were kids…all…over…again.

[same dorky grin]

    "Hey…whuuuuzzzzup!"

I stand on my tip-toes, kiss him, finally admit to what it is “exactly” that’s been bothering me for the last few days…weeks…months…whatever and then remind him to call our mother, sometime, soon..

[sounding like Fozzy Bear]

    "Ahhhh…no problem, Sis."

You see, it’s been like this…well…forever.

    “Don’t worry about it!”

Even as babies, my parents claim that I was always the restless one, jumping up and down in my crib, to the point where my father decided it was best to just keep the screwdriver on the windowsill, while my brother sat in a corner, staring at his socks.

Watching those old family movies, my father insists on dusting off every other holiday, it really is hard to believe that my brother and I are twins.

    “Love you, see you soon!”

He’s like my mother – calm, quiet and forgiving – where as I am my father’s daughter and, well,  we are our worst enemies.

    "Did your brother call?"

UGH, I swear, the man wasn’t even through the front door.

    "Because, he didn’t call your mother."

As my kids and I grow older (shuddup!) I’m beginning to care less and less about what other people think.  Especially, if we are related.  I can’t help it.  It sounds childish, I know.  Then again, I’m someone’s mom.  Being the first to pick up the phone and call…all…the…time.  It would probably hurt me too, sort of.  Still.  The dynamics of my immediate family hasn’t changed much.

My mother gets upset.

My father gets pissed.

He tells me.

I tell my brother.

    "Ahhhh…no problem."

And so it goes, right? 

Except, this time, I wasn’t going for it.

    "Sorry, Pop, but I can’t make him do anything that he doesn’t want to."

He’s not my kid.

    "Well, then I think it’s time that he and I have a nice…long…talk."

Good.

    "Since, he’s obviously forgotten he has a sister."

Crap.

    "I’m sure he remembers."

Sort of.

    "Let’s eat!"

I love my brother and I am very happy that he has a wife that loves him and who (according to my father) is just as strong-willed as I am, of course.

Still.

Sometimes, I wish that it could be like when we were kids and the only thing we both worried about was protecting our milk money (not to mention, each other) from the neighborhood bully and picking the same exact tree, to climb up and hide away in, together.

Still.

A brother’s love is…well…a brother’s love and I am not about to be the one to get in between him and his wife – no matter how hard they try and make me – but, the biggest thing that separates me from my brother’s wife (besides, the obvious) is that I know the hardest thing about being a mother, is having to be a sister and a daughter, too!

Because, they don’t have any kids.