My memories of growing up with my brothers are vivid. But what I remember most was how they made me feel. I knew they loved me. I knew because they never took it easy on me and they rarely excluded me. They let me play too. And when I got the hang of whatever it was, they were proud of me. I knew because, even though they didn't stay too close on the playground, they were watching and when I really did need them, they were suddenly there. Everytime. Ready to protect their little sister. But only if I wasn't able to protect myself. I knew they dug me even when they were kicking my ass (Not in a scary way. More of like a "why do you keep hitting yourself", tickle traps and de-pantsing kind of way).
So years go by and we grew up. In college, I'm on the phone late into the night with my brother after a painful breakup. Helping him to process the pain in his heart. Never thinking for a second that I'd rather be doing anything else.
Fast forward more years. I see my brothers truck pulling up at the wrong side of dawn to come and take me to my final surgery to try and get cancer out of my body before more drastic measures would be taken. I see his face and I feel safe. I climb into his truck and I feel almost relaxed. The smell of McDonalds coffee and Fahrenheit cologne. The smell of safety.
And then still even more years go by and I am in the bathroom trying to protect and care for my baby boy who is afraid and covered in bee stings. The only thought in my head was that I needed to call my brother. He would know what to do. He would help me. He would bring me back. And he did.
These were our tests along with the hundreds of other life changing moments the three of us have been through. And we came out knowing that even if we sucked at everything else, we totally ruled at loving each other.
So, I relate to Ms. Plum's position in this family. I know what it's like to be the baby girl with a big brother. And from my perspective she is a very lucky little girl to have landed Mr. Pants in her corner throughout this life. Just like he hit the sister jackpot when she arrived. It's funny because these two couldn't be more different. But in a good way. I think they will balance eachother. Mr. Pants' tendencies to mask his emotions will not be tolerated by Ms. Plum. I guarantee it. She already draws him out. She brings anger and laughter out in him with ease. She brings out a softness from him that is only for her. I hope he will never be able to hide his feelings from her. I dream about future conversations they will have and her having to explain to him that the girl teasing him at school actually likes him. It will blow his mind. But he'll believe her, because he trusts her.
And he makes her curious and adventurous. She's a cautious little lady, but Mr. Pants won't abide caution (God save us) and pulls her into exploring furthur than she'd set out for. I kind of love that. Even if it makes my eyes cross at times. She admires his skills and he knows it. Recently she's begun crawling fast after him as he runs from her down the hall. Both of them in fits of laughter. He's too fast so he slows down, doubles back to her and says, "Cuh-mahn Cuh-mahn!", waving her back into the chase. And as I watch them, I see things like him in a pool with her on the edge, afraid to jump. He has his arms out and a smile and says, "Come on! Come on! You can do this. I'm right here. I'll catch you." And she will jump. Because she trusts him.
My greatest hope for these two loves of my life is that they find each other when life gets hard. That when his heart is broken, his sister will be there to pick him up, feed him dinner and remind him of his awesomeness. And he will feel loved. And when she finds herself alone, she will know that her brother will come and pick her up. And when she climbs into the seat next to him, she will feel safe.
I want them to have what I have.