I was the predictably spoiled late-life baby in the family. My brother was the closest to me in age, and he was 12 years older! So with no other little kids in the family to demand I share, as siblings closer in age would do, I didn’t have to share very often. More often, some older sibling was sharing with me! But I adored my big brother, so if there was anyone I would have willingly shared this big sucker with, it would have been him.
Of course, Jimmy was still the only son in the family, but when I came along it ended his 12-year reign as the baby of the family! My arrival had to have caused some shifts in the dynamics of the family that weren’t particularly great for him. Yet, I don’t remember him ever being unkind to me.
In fact, Jimmy and his friends were all pretty accepting of me! I’m told that if Jimmy had to babysit and the guys wanted him to go to a movie with them, they would take me along! (I was also told that when he babysat he had trouble making me go to bed, so Mama and Daddy would sometimes come home to find him and me sleeping on the living room floor! No pillows, no blankets — just laying on the floor asleep — apparently exhausted from the battle of wills over me going to sleep in my bed!)
Pat and Adam were brothers and didn’t have any other siblings, so I think Jimmy’s baby sister was a novelty to them.
There were lots of good reasons why Jimmy could have considered me a pain in the neck and an inconvenience, but he loved and cared for me anyway. So, when I think of “brotherly love” I think of Jimmy.
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