Friday, April 04, 2008

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

It was a dark and stormy night--oh wait, that's the way Snoopy started his storys on his dog house. But it was--a dark and stormy night and will probably be a dark and stormy day. But today is my brother's birthday. Let me tell you about him. You'd much rather hear that than to hear about the weather. He's nine years old in this picture.

John is 8 years younger than I. I was in the third grade when he was born. My older brother and I were sent to a friend's house to get ready for school so my dad could take mother to the hospital. He was the only one of the three of us born in a hospital. Anyway, we went to school, and about lunch time, I was called to the classroom where my brother was a student and the teacher was a family friend. She got the privilege of telling us we had a new baby brother.

I don't remember what my brother's reaction was. He was a stoic child, who seldom showed emotions. But as for me, I cried! Yes, that's right, I cried. I don't know why. I don't even know if I knew we were getting a new baby before that day. Back in the day, children weren't privy to that type of information. It wasn't discussed. Being in the 'family way' was whispered. I can't imagine why it was so hush hush. But it was. And now my life had been totally interrupted by a 'baby'. So I cried. Maybe it was that I was such an introspective child that I suddenly realized that my days as the baby of the family were at an end. Maybe I saw days of babysitting in my future. Maybe I thought I'd no longer be loved. Nope, I wasn't deep enough to have those type of thoughts--I just cried.

Then my parents had the audicity to bring that baby home. We then had all these people come by to see him. Everyone oohed and aahed over him. Then my Aunt Connie and Uncle Crook--yes we had an Uncle Crook, it was just a nickname-that came. Unbeknownst to my family, I made a deal with Uncle Crook. I traded that baby to my Uncle for three rabbits. What a deal! I got three rabbits for one ole baby. And they wouldn't cry and have to be fed and changed. But do you think I ever got those rabbits? No, I did not, and to this day, I begrudge not getting those rabbits.

But then something happened. Something I never thought would happen. I fell in love with that baby. I wanted to be with him all the time. I talked about him all the time. I was a very proud big sister. Now I'm not going to tell you that I wanted to do everything for him. I can't remember, and after all, I did have to go to school. But I couldn't wait to get home every day to see him.

We're all grown up now, but I still love my baby brother. He's over six feet tall, has a booming voice that can be quite intimidating, and sings like a bird. Albeit a big bird, but a bird. He has, in fact, made his living most of his life singing. He started singing when he was very small, and by the time he was a teenager, was winning talent contests. He went on to major in music in college, and obtained a doctorate in church music. He worked for many years as a music minister. He sang with the University of Memphis singers, and was a member of the Mississippi Singing Churchmen. He was even able to go with the latter group on a singing tour of Europe. He sang at both my daughter's weddings and our Aunt Connie's funeral. He's still singing, but now he also sells chicken farms and drives a bus. The bus job is a story for a later post, let's just say, in his life, there's never a dull moment.

My question today--Who caused your life as a child to be totally turned upside down?

Hope it isn't raining in your life today. We here in NE Arkansas are totally soaked. I'm thinking about calling the local hardware and trying to buy some gopher wood.

Have a happy Friday. Do something silly. Make someone laugh.


Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Happy, Happy Birthday Brother John!

And thanks for saying Shmoops is gorgeous. I agree but didn't want to sound like I was bragging! :)

Hallie :)

#1daughter said...

Knowing how you felt when your parents brought that baby home, you still insisted on bringing two babies home to me?!?! The nerve! I could've been such a happy ONLY child. But then, I wouldn't be Aunt M would I? I guess I can deal with the siblings since they've given nieces and nephew. Boy that saved their butts!

Lisa J said...

I got a baby brother 9 years into my life. But my mother nearly died getting him here, and he was over a month old before he and my mother came home. I, like you, was very unhappy with the loss of baby in the family status, but grew to love the little rascle. but I tormented him for years to come. In fact, I had his kids yesterday and spoiled them ROTTEN, then sent them home! Oh yes, the memories and sweet revenge. Thanks for the smile you made today. Keep your head above water today.

Flea said...

The rain stopped and it's been beautiful! Hoorah! Happy birthday little brother!

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