Today someone very dear to me is celebrating a birthday. I will travel to Dublin later to enjoy it with him and as we hug in celebration a lifetime of wonderful memories will surround us.
I wrote a post for him a few years ago. Today I’ve dusted it off and updated it. But don’t worry I got him a present as well.
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 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.
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 nowhere near as huge as I remember.
Our road was one with a lot of young families. This meant we were never short of playmates. 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 running off, only to hear my mother shout as, “Tric! Your brother wants to play too.”
Even though he often played with my friends and I, I also had various ways of losing him. One of my favourites was to bring him to the overgrown field opposite our house (I knew he was too small to be spotted from our front window), there I would show him all the lovely yellow weeds and tell him “Mom would love some of those”. Being the lovely small boy he was he’d happily pick them, while I ran off. Thankfully he always found his own way home.
Another tried and tested way to lose him was to play on our bike. I call it “our” bike, because Santa in his wisdom gave it to both of us. Like that was ever going to work?
My brother was too young to be allowed play at the bottom of our road, in fact he wasn’t allowed to pass the lane which marked half way. Regularly I’d jump on the bike and cycle past the lane and down the road. My poor brother would stand shouting at me to come back. Sometimes I’d cycle back and taunt him, always on the other side of the lane. If he got mad and tried to come after me, I’d shout, “Don’t pass the lane, or I’ll tell Mum.” Being a much better behaved child than myself he did as he was told.
I know you think quite rightly I was the worst sister ever, however there was another side to our relationship.
We were a pair, the youngest siblings, known in our house as the “wanes” (the wee ones).
Although we were on occasions the deadliest of enemies, 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. Such as strapping sleeping bags on our backs, crawling up the stairs and “camping” in the bedroom for 30 seconds before clambering back down the stairs again. Or speaking to each other in gibberish as we played one of our favourite games, “languages.”
I never remember a time having no one to play with. It is because of these memories and so many more, that when I drive up the road home today and open my front door, my over riding memories will be of the many days of fun I had with my younger brother.
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 that childhood the magical experience it was. The one who is still in my corner today. My oldest friend.
So tonight I write this post remembering happy childhood days spent with my forever friend.
Happy Birthday Baby Brother.
Enjoy the celebrations.
photo credit: Automania via photopin cc