Hopefully this falls out of my head and through my fingers with few typos and a modicum of coherence… The point of this should be, I love my brother. Let’s see where this goes.
So yesterday, I tried to take a “Happy Birthday Mimi” video of my kids and my phone with it’s iOS 6 update, has decided that there’s just not enough room on my phone for anything, ever. I’ve reduced the bulk of my emails. I don’t actually keep any music on iTunes or whatever. I delete podcasts after I listen to them. And, for the record, I have far fewer apps on my phone than I did with my previous phones. I don’t know what the deal is Apple, but you’re chafing my ass with all this nit-picky crap.
So yesterday, I discovered that I have a crap-ton, and that’s a very very lot of text messages that I never delete. I mean, really, never. So I started purging. There was the usual, “can you pick up some milk on the way home” kind of chit chat, the “35% off all Arbonne if you order by the 30th of the month” group texts, and then there are the “Ava’s going to be a big seester” texts from when we found out there was going to be a Christopher. Some are keepers you see.
Amongst the overwhelming mass of nonsense, is the running conversation with my brother Steven. Random texts from Ava to him when she heisted my phone, “what was the song the ice cream truck in Bridgeport played”, memories of favorite great-aunts & uncles, random memory lane stuff, baby announcements, happy birthdays, do you remember that song from Music Machine, stuff only I’d get, stuff only he’d get. Because of who we are…because of how we lived…because of who we became for each other. We lived a life that no one else did, of course while we were in the midst of it we fought like animals. Oh dear God, the crazy screaming fights and punching and kicking and slamming doors and vicious words (mostly from me). Frantic, pathetic calls to my mom at work “Steven kicked me in the face and broke my jaw” Obviously didn’t break my jaw, because I could still speak, but it hurt. We were mean to each other. And then there was college, and being roommates, and now we’re friends, and very very far apart.
My kids are us, in reverse. Ava is Steven and Christopher is me. She wants to be with people, she wants to be with people to the point that she is a little suffocating. She wants to hug Chris. She wants to give him kisses. She wants to marry him. (This is not sounding like Steven at all actually, but bear with me) She is thoughtful and so upset when he gets in trouble…even though she probably tattled on him.
Christopher, on the other hand, just wants to play by himself. He needs a little “me time”. He’ll play for hours by himself. He comes up for air and a hug from Mommy every once in a while, but most often he’s just fine with a little quiet time. Until his sister gets bored being alone and then descends on his peaceful kingdom of race cars and giant legos and starts running the show. Then, it’s a giant screamfest and I’m about ready to beat both of them.
Steven never really liked being by himself, it seems. We’d get home from school and go watch separate TVs at my grandparents house and I’d be all calm watching Hazel or Father Knows Best or some other crappy reruns and he’d be downstairs watching MTV or Ren & Stimpy or I have no idea what he was actually watching. All of the sudden…”WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” scare the crap out of me, make me scream and do something pesty to piss me off and go on his merry way.
I think though, after at least 20 years (since that’s how long I’ve been out of high school) and however many miles separate us…I think he still misses me.
All this to say, Hey Steven, Christopher and I listened to Nathaniel the Grublet together this morning. It was pretty awesome, still remembered a ton of the words, but it wasn’t the same as it was 30+ years ago hiding from Dire Wood behind the couch with you. I miss you!