My older brother and I are very close. We don’t often speak because of our family responsibilities, our work and the fact we live three hours apart, but we’re connected through deep family love which nothing can break.
Granted, there have been times when we’ve not liked each other, or our choices in partners have caused conflicts between us, yet I know that no matter what happens between us, there’s a core of ‘sameness’ in our souls.
When we were growing up the dynamics were like any sibling relationships. He used to tease me endlessly, I used to wind him up when I could get the upper hand but generally we played really well together. We’d often be quite noisy and our parents were always yelling at us to stop fighting – even when we WEREN’T fighting!
One of my earliest memories is when we lived in Clifton and it was at the end of the school day. I was out on the grass within the school grounds waiting for hiM so we could walk home together.
Around the corner I could hear shouts and children yelling and all of a sudden my brother came hurtling around the corner of the school running at full speed. Behind him were a trail of kids – the bullies of the school. My brother ran straight past me and out the school gate.
My panic set in and as usual I burst out crying as I was so worried about him getting hurt. I was only about six. Sobbing, I went out the gate and saw him chatting with one our friends mum. He was nonchalantly leaning against her car, not a worry on his face, and the ‘bullies’ were nowhere to be seen.
I think, as he came out of the gate he saw the safety of our friend’s mum and the ‘bullies’ couldn’t do anything but scatter and go home. I doubt he remembers this moment but all I remember is the panic I felt and, even though I was younger and smaller, I felt so protective over him.
We got up to so many antics. Some I was involved in, others I was a bystander. One such time was when he and a friend took a liking to car badges. You know, the logo on the front of the car that depicted whether it was a Ford or VW? They started a collection of these. Of course, they knew it was wrong and had to hide them in a bag in a hole at the back of the garden but he often showed me his collection, swearing me to secrecy.
One of my favourite memories of our youth was when we decided to challenge ourselves to get from his downstairs bedroom to my bedroom on the first floor – without touching the floor!
Crazy, I know, but things like this were the kinds of stuff we got up to after coming home from school and before our parents came back from work.
It went something like this. We started by swinging from his room onto the dining room table and then crossing over to the bookcase on the other wall. We managed to straddle around the door frame and into the kitchen where we could crawl along the work surfaces to the other end where the hall was.
Then the next bit was the trickiest. Using our feet, we suspended ourselves in the doorway, hung onto the top of the door, and swung our legs over to the radiator in the hallway. Perching our feet on the radiator, we were then able to move our arms from the door and reach over to the open stairway and grab the bannister.
Next was the shimmy up the stair using the bannister and bottom ledge and once we were at the top, we climbed over the top railing and onto the other bookcase there. Then it was just a matter of jumping from the bookcase into the doorway of my room. Challenge done!
I have so many fond memories of my childhood and of course most of them involve my brother. Even though we have our own families now and don’t talk often, I still feel a close bond with him and EVEN THOUGH he still teases me I honestly think of him as such a wonderful human being. Yes, we all have our faults, but I love him to the moon and back.