We lived in 108. A semi detached house at the top of the hill. Our road had houses on both sides, and was lined with cherry blossom trees. We were the last house on the hill. Across the road from us was an abandoned green area, of uncut grass, weeds and rapeseed. At the very back of this “field” was a large wall, behind which was an old country home and gardens.
I grew up in 108 with my Mom, Dad, two sisters, two brothers and a cousin, who to all intents and purposes was my third sister.
We had what I thought was a huge back garden, one I could cycle my bike around, swing on a swing and play in for hours. Now when I return I am amazed that while it is not tiny, it is not anywhere as huge as I remember.
Out the front are two small lawns, one to the front and one to the side. The one to the front reminds me to this day, of the day my cousin had her first driving lesson. The instructor was new in every way. On her very first night driving, she made my cousin come in the narrow gates of the drive. As she tried to do so she revved and revved, without moving. Eventually, after much revving, she managed to let go of the clutch, flew in the gates and right across the lawn, managing to stop short just in front of the sitting room window. My brother and I thought it was the funniest thing we ever witnessed.
There is also a story behind the lawn to the side.
When my parents moved in first, there was just a small boundary fence at the side of the house. My father and the neighbour behind our house devised a cunning plan to claim more land. They moved the boundary fence quickly, and in no time we had gained an extra number of feet at the side of the house. In years to come when a group of surveyors came to check and map the estate, my father got huge delight watching them scratching their heads, measuring and remeasuring.
Our road was one with a lot of young families. Which meant we had plenty others to play with. I played with three girls in particular, only to be stalked regularly by my younger brother. I tried various methods to escape without him tagging along, either by sneaking out or else running, only to hear my mother shout as I ran, “Tric! M wants to go and play too”.
Even though he played with my friends and I often, on occasions I had no intention of letting him play with us. I had various ways of losing him. One was to bring him across to the overgrown field opposite the house. I knew he was too small to be spotted from home. I would then show him all the lovely yellow weeds and tell him “Mom would love some of those”. He would happily begin to pick them, and I would run off. He knew his way home.
Another tried and tested way to lose him was to play on our bike. I call it “our” bike, because we were supposed to share it. Like that was ever going to work!
M was too young to be allowed all the way to the bottom of the road, in fact he was not allowed to pass the lane which marked half way. I would jump on the bike and cycle all the way to the end of the road. Poor M would stand at the lane shouting at me to come back. I would sometimes cycle back. Only to stop close to the lane. I would “explain” it would be his turn for the bike in a minute. If he got mad and tried to come after me, I’d shout like any older, mean sister would, “Don’t pass the lane, mom will be so mad at you, and I’ll tell”. As predicted he wouldn’t and I’d have some time playing without him.
I know you think quite rightly I was the worst sister ever, however there was another side to our relationship.
We were a pair. In our house we were known as the “wanes” (the wee ones).
It is because of these memories and so many more, that when I drive up the road home, when I look at the now beautiful green space with tennis courts and a playground opposite our house, when I walk in my front door, my over riding memories are of the many many days of fun I had with my younger brother.
Because although we were the deadliest of enemies at times, the majority of the time, we were inseparable. Hour after hour we spent together, playing the most magical of games, made up by both of us. Simple fun. Such as strapping sleeping bags on our backs, crawling up the stairs, “camping” in the bedroom for 30 seconds, and then making our way back down. Or “languages” which was a game where we wandered around speaking gibberish and imagining we could speak a foreign language.
I never remember a time having no one to play with.
Earlier today my daughter had to write an essay for homework, about her friends. As she wrote I thought of all the friends I’ve had over the years. The girls from my childhood, my teenage friends, my nursing friends, my very special bridesmaid friend. The friends I’ve made since becoming a mother and of course my husband, my soul mate.
However the more I thought about my “friends” the more I thought about my younger brother. My childhood companion. The one who made my childhood a most magical experience. The one who is still in my corner today. My oldest friend.
So tonight I write a post remembering happy childhood days spent with my forever friend, my greatest pal.
My baby brother. xxxxx
photo credit: Eva the Weaver via photopin cc
photo credit: Dominic’s pics via photopin cc
29 thoughts on “To you little brother, my forever friend.”
Beautiful homage to you brother! I love the pictures, too.
Thanks I got them on photopin but they bring back memories. Glad you enjoyed it. Haven’t told him I’ve written this!
Very touching! It reminds me a bit of my kids who are 6 years apart…my daughter (the eldest) started to really get fed-up of her brother when she reached her teens…childhood memories can be precious!
Definitely. There is a year and a half between us and thankfully we have yet to get fed up with each other.
This brought tears to my eyes for so many reasons. As you described your neighbourhood, it had some similarities to mine. Even though I was three years older than my brother, it was I who liked to tag along with him for more adventurous activities like riding mini bikes through a nearby field and playing road hockey (or begging to). I lost him suddenly when he was only 36. You are right. Our siblings can be the best friends we will ever have.
This is a wonderful post of appreciation and love. Thanks for sharing.
Cherish every moment……
Oh I am so sad you lost your forever friend. I couldn’t imagine life without mine. I’m glad this brought you back happy memories. Once again, my sympathies on your huge loss.
My mom used to sit us around the table and make us stare at one another telling us we will never have another friend like each other. Oh the gagging we would do! But without a doubt, if I call on them, they are there.
What a lovely tribute to your brother and the magic you had with him.
Thanks. Your mom was very wise. Hopefully many more memories to come for all of us.
Lovely story and a wonderful picture of the two of you at the beach!
Thank you. It’s actually a borrowed pic from the internet, but it is very much as we were.
I love my little brother but my older brother was an animal.
Sorry to hear that. Luckily I have another older brother who is also a great brother, he was just a bit older so tended to play with “the bigger boys”.
Tric, you have such a lovely family… I would love to have one too! ❤
this is very, very lovely tric. your childhood home and surroundings sounds wonderful and i love your relationship and stories of your little brother. you were very lucky to have each other )
Thanks Beth. I have often thought we were both so lucky to have each other as ready best friends.
Thanks for sharing your nice memories about you and your brother.
I think, that your relationship was like mostly families, special when the girl is the oldest. I remember my kids from their childhood, my daughter is 3 years older than the son. She was also tired of him many times for some years.
Yes. my older brother was lovely too, but as he was a bit older we tended to not play together. We are great pals now in adulthood though.
It is exactly for writing like this that I mentioned you in my blog last night http://t.co/mYZjb7C1O2. What a lovely dedication to your brother.
Thanks so much. You are more than kind. I really appreciate it, and anyone reading this should check you out. There are just not enough blogs by Dads on the net. I love reading yours.
I am lucky enough to say that my brother is my childhood friend too! Oh we had a blast!
Great memories. And oh so many I’m sure Laura.
you big saftie 😆
lovely tribute to your bro. tric !
That’s lovely :0) I used to run away from my younger sister too!
Now I feel less mean!
This a lovely post! And the pictures are so heartwarming 🙂
Thank you. I got the pictures on the internet but they really remind me of my brother and I.
This is super cute! I swear I’m not crying lol. I need to write something like this for my little brother thanks so much for reminding me how much I love him even though he’s a little brat sometimes haha.
I’m delighted you enjoyed it. Yes my brother was also a brat but we’ve grown up since then. I’d hate to be in this world without him.