The quirky thing about siblings is that even though we all grew up in the same family and under the same roof, we all have our own point of view of the family happenings. As childhood compatriots they share in the joys of summer, of playing in the irrigation water on a hot day, in the excitement of trick-or-treating and getting the crap scared out of you at a spooky neighbors house. In the anticipation of Christmas morning. But also in the mundane living that is life. When it seems the parents are being cruel or we are utterly bored out of our minds on an idle Tuesday afternoon at 3pm. It's part of growing up to have an older sibling stick up for you when you are having trouble at school AND to have that same sibling tell you to stay out of their room or quit touching their stuff. The bonds forged then last long into being a grown up and the spaces and distance that replace the few steps down the hall to their bed on a dark night.
Staying in touch isn't always easy. This is the same group of characters that will need to band together when we are drawing straws on who is going to take care of the parental units and the plethora of things that will need to be sorted out someday. And so, I carved out some time in a busy fall schedule to visit my brother. Because I needed it, because he needed it, because my children needed it.
This is the brother that playfully (or at least part playfully and part naughty older brother) would lift us little kids up and dangle us off the edge of the roof by our fingertips. It was fun, it was challenging to see who could hang on the longest, it was frightening when he would walk away and act like he was going to leave us there forever. This is the brother that would take my side against my older siblings during snowball fights and even out the score a little. I was glad to always be on his team.
These are the moments that Emmers will remember someday. That Uncle Steve taught her how to do the monkey bars. That Uncle Steve gave endless shoulder rides and took her to see elk one day. That Uncle Steve taught her how to use side reins while riding horses.
And Burrito will remember being pushed on the tire swing and driving the tractor and that Uncle Steve has the coolest rope swing ever in his garage.