“But… but… I want to hammer too!”
“Maybe later… can’t you see I am using it now?”
“But, nooo… I want to hammer NOW”!
Understanding that I was not willing to part from the hammer, she yanked it out of my hand and smacked me right in the forehead with it!
Becoming a Big Brother
Five years before the knock-out, I was unaware what was laying ahead (no pun intended).
I only had seen how my mommies belly grew bigger and bigger, and of course, everybody told me I would be a “Big brother” soon, but it was unclear to me what that exactly entailed.
Nevertheless, everything with ‘Big’ was a good thing, right?
At the age of four, I had gained quite some life experience; I was master at Lego, I overcame my fear of Brussel sprouts and understood the basics of electricity; for example: ‘Do not put your mums curling pins in a power outlet while sitting in the bathtub.’
Still, none of that could have prepared me for what was coming.
Following four years of undivided attention, love, and care, a new member joined the family; they called her ‘my sister.’
She looked so small and delicate, harmless and… Ugly!
But all considered, she did not seem to be too much trouble, most of the time she was sleeping, making funny cooing noises, cried now and then… but that was pretty much it.
And although I had to share the time and attention from mom and dad, it was not too much asked, I could keep myself busy.
It was only when the little devil decided to join us fellow two-legged beings, the struggle became real.
I could handle the shifted attention, I was fine with sharing the exhibition of fridge-art with her scribbled drawings… but once she started roaming around, wobbling from one room to the other, smashing my Lego-constructions like an escaped King-Kong, I felt it was time to get the little monkey back to her island.
Alas, there was no way in convincing mom and dad, as they were quite smitten with her.
With a wet, ice-cold towel on my forehead, I saw a concerned little face looking at the damage she had caused. It was clear she had overreacted, and it was surely not her intention to whack her big brother into the next life.
Still, she deserved the dirty look I gave her, no matter what intention, the bump was there.
This would not be the only conflict while growing up together, many more battles would follow with bruises, scratches, and injuries as a result.
I am sure if you would ask my sister, she would definitely bring up the day where one of our conflicts produced actual sparks!
Even with the constant threat of conflict hovering above us, we never failed to find ways to play together and combine our imaginations.
It was one of those days, we had decided to clear the small storage under the stairs and planned to create a little home inside. We built a bench, stored some food and drinks, added some pillows and the little place started looking very cozy… Still, I felt something was missing.
I felt that my trial and error in electricity might finally pay off, so I pulled out of my dad’s cabinets an old work light. The cable was a bit too short, so with some extra wire, a screw terminal and some tape, and voila! There was light! Now it looked like a real home!
But like in every household, sooner or later a discussion was bound to happen. It was sooner than later. What the fight was about, who started; I do not recall, but we both remember how it ended! To make a final statement and in an attempt to throw out my installation, she grasped the cable of the light and gave it a firm pull. Alas, the light remained where I had mounted it, but the cable gave way.
As the cable slipped through her fingers, the exposed wires touched her small hand, and the electrified muscles grasped tightly around the bare wires. There was no way she was able to let go!
I rushed to the socket where the cable was connected, pulled it out, and saw my sister unclench.
It was my turn to receive the dirty look.
But no matter how angry we were, and how many times we felt we could not forgive what the other did, for the times we hit or pulled hair, damaged or destroyed toys; it never took long before the tempers settled, and we were found playing as if nothing had happened.
Even if we were each other’s childhood nemesis, we could not imagine a better friend and partner in crime.
Raising camps in the backyard using mum’s brushes, floor wipers, and bed sheets, leaving them with unremovable green stains. Playing with matches, igniting little fires that frizzled many a fringe and brow.
Or sledding down the stairs upon one of our mattresses, shredding the wallpaper along the way.
It was never a good sign for mom and dad when we were too quiet, as it meant that we were up to no good.
Looking back at our relationship, fights, and adventures, I can honestly say I could not wish for a better childhood companion.
But as time flew so did our childhood.
Before we knew it, we were teenagers, and not much later, adults that decided to write their individual stories.
From there, our lives took very different paths and resulted in various experiences that shaped our thoughts and opinions. The distance between us became even more prominent once I decided to relocate to another country.
Nevertheless, this was merely physical distance. Neither the difference of opinion and beliefs nor the location changed anything to the matter that we were brother and sister.
It was not until we parted ways, and we lived our own lives, that our bond grew even stronger.
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In each of these situations she was there for me, listening to my sorrows and troubles, supporting decisions she did not agree with, and pulling me out of the deep when I no longer saw the light.
She was the one, helping me moving boxes at night, and even taking several mental punches that were intended for me.
It was at that time I learned the true value of my sister.
No matter what happens, there is nothing that could break that bond.
Whenever I need my sister, I know she will be there for me always, no matter what the situation is. I can share with her anything, without any hesitation and the fear of being judged.
In the whole world, there will be that one person, who is there for me, always!
She is my guide for survival… I survived, because of my sister.