Saturday, August 19, 2006

BrotherBang's Birthday Reflections

Just about thirty-seven years ago, I was playing paper dolls over at the Infertia's house when the car pulled in the driveway. I ran through the hedges (I remember getting stuck on a pricker) and up into the house.

Mommy was home from the hospital! She was home!

My Baba had a bundle in her arms, and I slowed down from skidding into the room and quietly approached. I totally remember this. I was 3 1/2 years old.
Baba knelt down and showed me what was in the bundle.

It was a tiny person with a red face. I looked and looked at it, and went deaf to everything around me. Something happened and I was aware of love for the first time. I didn't so much see that little baby's face as I just felt the essence of that little baby. I very simply knew I loved him and that my job was to protect him.

Soon after that he became the cutest baby the world has ever known, and this was an important factor in his not getting killed for making doo-doo art all over the walls of his nursery. There was something about those damp curls, pink chubby cheeks and those enormous, mischievous chocolate chip eyes that made you decide you probably shouldn't kill him just yet. Maybe tomorrow.

One morning I wanted to play with him but he was trapped in his crib, so I very carefully pulled the crib down by the slats until it touched the floor. I scooped my baby onto the floor and played with him there until one of my parents found us like that and started making noises like a fire alarm, all about how I could have killed us both, etc. etc. etc. They both ran around like headless chickens, wailing away. I didn't understand what all the fuss was about. I knew I would never drop that crib. The baby was unperturbed. I don't remember him crying much at all, actually.

That cute baby grew up to be my bratty little brother and then into a kid and into a young man and then a man and although I was never able to protect him from anything, I never stopped loving him. Eventually he participated in the creation of two more adorable boy children who have their own damp curls and naughty eyes (and doody dipes), and they made an Auntie out of me, which was just what I have always wanted.

It's his birthday on August 20th and I'll be on the Cape. In true family fashion, his card and present will be late, but that doesn't mean I don't love my Chimp.


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