Sibling Wars

Let’s hop back in the time machine and go back to Wendy’s childhood; a time and place that—if I’m forced to be honest—might be best left in the past. Why? Possibly because at my mature(ish) age now, I can admit that there were moments in my family’s history in which I might not have been the nicest member of it.

An example? Still to this day I come damn close to crying with laughter when I think about the time my brother knocked himself out after he ran off our porch and into the clothes pole in our backyard when he was about seven. Absolutely hysterical to me. The funniest part wasn’t that he hit it so hard it left a long, pole shaped bruise down his torso. The funniest part is the fact that the pole had been there, literally, our entire lives. How he forgot about it so completely that he ran into it so hard he knocked himself out is pure comedy. Don’t roll your eyes. It’s my duty as a sister to laugh at stuff like that. That’s what siblings are for, for cryin’ out loud.

Not like he didn’t have his moments of payback. Like the time he hit me in the head with a hardball (a.k.a. baseball) when I was about 6. He and his friends were playing a game we called “rundown” which was similar to what is commonly called “monkey in the middle.” Or if you’re good at baseball terminology, it’s a game centered round being caught in a pickle. When I got beaned in the head, I was the monkey. Being the only girl in a neighborhood full of boys, I was always the monkey or whatever unsavory role there was to be had in the street game du jour. (To be fair, being the only girl in a neighborhood full of boys got much, much better as we got older). But I digress. So, I was the monkey. My brother was manning one base. His friend was holding down the other. All of a sudden—BAM—I got socked right in the head with the ball.

Now I’m not saying it was on purpose or anything. Let’s be clear about that. I have no evidence supporting wrongdoing. BUT if it was orchestrated, I probably deserved it. I could hold my own in the never-ending “war of the siblings” which means I had to commit a few acts of questionable morality to keep up with my brother’s torment.  Need I refer you to the mushroom incident?

That was the great thing about my brother and I. We always went tit for tat. It was never a lopsided fight between the two of us. Sort of like our own personal version of Spy vs. Spy. Neither one of us would have the upper hand for too long before the other took it right back just when the dust was about to settle.

Now, as a parent, I look back on these acts of juvenile recklessness and am stumped on how my mother survived with her sanity intact.  I can totally understand now why she always had that anxious look on her face.  She was probably in a constant state of worry about what one of us would either do to ourselves or to each other next.  Would this be the day we’d have to make another hospital run? Are the cops on speed dial in case one of us went missing…again? Actually – that’s a funny story and one I’ll tell another time.

Luckily my brother and I both survived (not without our fair share of nicks and bruises along the way). We made it to adulthood and, call me crazy, but I think all that silly cartoonish competition as we were growing up only served to make us better friends in the end.  It certainly has given us some great stories to tell around the holiday dinner table.

Keith_Wendy Easter 1971 (2)

 

Keith_Wendy Easter 1971

 

Keith_Wendy unknown

 

19 thoughts on “Sibling Wars

  1. In my family my story is, and shall always be, “I didn’t roll Alan down the stairs. I just tied him up. MARK rolled him down the stairs!”

  2. oh how fun.. and the photos are priceless – love the suit – and those puffy arms in your dress – I remember when that was really in! 🙂

    • Not sure about the suit my brother is wearing, but my Mom had made my outfit, the coat too — it was a sunny yellow. The black and white photos were from Easter 1971. As a matter of fact, she made my outfit in the professional photo I posted with the entry as well….the blue dress with the black cats. I loved that dress. The woman was extremely talented.

  3. such great memories and so fortunate to be able to look back and smile and laugh! 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  4. And you got better hair, too, Wendy. You win. 😉

    My two younger sisters remind me how I used to give them Indian burns and pink bellies. What an awful older brother I was when we were growing up. But never full force to hurt them, ever. Just teasing. And besides, they admitted when we were older, they didn’t care because my friends and I let them hang out with us, and they were just little kids. (I’m eight and 10 years older than they are.)

      • I have less on top, but the sides and back are hanging in pretty good, Wendy. Face, full, too. Your brother and I have that in common.

        Yeah, I couldn’t give a real indian burn. That would have been too cruel for school. And my parents would have made another of my body parts red in reaction. 😮

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