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You And Me Against The World


Dear Ben,

I’m not sure when your wee body with gigantic melon (it’s like an orange on a toothpick) was taken over by aliens, but I am freely admitting that you’re scaring me these days. Deep down in there, you’re the same wonderful child I’ve always adored, but lately, I’m sad to admit that I’ve revisited my visions of selling you to the gypsies (EVEN AT A LOSS).

I suppose that I’m sick of being told to bow to the Alter of My Wrongness for most anything that comes out of my mouth, and I think this might just be a prequel for your teenage days when you realize just what an idiot I am, and feel the need to tell me all about it frequently. As in every 2-3 minutes. Approximately.

But by the time you’re a teenager, I assume you’ll huffily declare how WRONG I am AND THEN GO TO YOUR ROOM AND SHUT THE DOOR, and I’m somewhat looking forward to this. Because now, you just follow me around telling me just how much more you know than I do WITHOUT INTERRUPTION OR LEAVING THE ROOM.

You’re a neat kid, really, you are, and you constantly shock and amaze me. Were it not for the 4th degree tears your bowling ball shaped head caused me (you’re too young for me to ever tell you WHAT exactly that means) and the fact that when you met me for the first time you screamed bloody murder, I would continually question your maternity and wonder if maybe MY sweet and docile mild-mannered child had been left in the care of someone who’d birthed the daemon spawn that was you as a baby (and young child, if I must elaborate).

But oddly shaped heads seem to run in my family (although my own head is quite lovely shaped THANKYOUVERYMUCH), and every now and again (especially as you pull all of the green peppers out of a taco JUST LIKE I DO), it dawns on me that you really are my child.

But for all of the annoying shit you do (the list is far too long for me to assemble without having a nervous breakdown), occasionally the sun will peak through the storm clouds and who you are underneath your layers of know-it-all-ness shines through.

Your relationship with your brother is a prime example. I am the youngest in my family, and despite my repeated pleas for a BETTER brother or sister for me to boss around, my mother dryly informed me that when I was born “smoking a cigar and barking out orders” (her exact words), she went ahead and got spayed. I’m frankly amazed she didn’t remove her entire uterus JUST IN CASE.

My own brother hated me passionately until my husband was fooled into marrying me, and as this is the only basis for comparison of older-younger sibling relations go, I was suitably underwhelmed when I imagined your reaction to your live, in the flesh brother. Your Daver and I did everything we could think of to prepare you for your brother’s arrival: we dutifully took you to a sibling class at the hospital, we bought you your very own doll to practice on, we bought you a book about where babies actually come from, we baked you a “Ben’s Having A Brother Cake” when we found out Alex too had a penis.

Your grandfather swears, however, that the reason that you like your brother so incredibly much is because “Alex” “bought” you a lightsaber and “brought” it to the hospital to give you when you met him for the first time.

I’m so incredibly fortunate that you and he have been inseparable ever since. You wear your multitude of Big Brother T-Shirts with much pride, and you’re always tickled whenever Alex comes to visit you at school.

It’s honestly the relationship I’ve always wished I had with my own brother, and I am proud that you have chosen to love your brother rather than resent him (I cannot possible take an ounce of credit for this. It was and always will be your own choice). I have never heard you say a mean, sullen, or resentful thing about him in his whole life, which is pretty miraculous considering what an asshole he used to be.

Each and every part of how my adulthood has shaped up has been due primarily to you. While this sounds like I’m placing the burden squarely upon your wee shoulders, I assure you that it couldn’t be farther from the truth. When you were born, I could only focus upon what was in front of me in the moment, and I promise you that although you had to go about the business of learning about the world, I was doing it right along side you (to be fair, I did know how to both feed myself AND walk, which were things that you had to master, so mayhap I was ahead of the game, if only slightly).

Wherever we’ve gone, and whatever we’ve learned, we’ve done it together, kid. Well before there was The Daver or Alex along side us, there was you and me against the world. And despite all of your bullshit these days (you are by far, the most intense person I’ve had the pleasure to meet) that flows so freely from your somewhat toothless mouth, I’ll never forget it. And maybe someday, when you’re older, I’ll explain it all to you, because you don’t know a damn thing about the life we had (which may be a better thing than not).

I can only hope and pray WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING that the rest of Six is marked by more sun shining through the storm clouds, because it’s honestly driving me a bit batty (okay, BATTIER than normal. Fine).

Let’s just try to get through this with all of our limbs intact, mmkay?



posted under The Sausage Factory
26 Comments to

“You And Me Against The World”

  1. On March 12th, 2008 at 12:07 pm Manny Says:

    That was incredibly sweet and heartfelt. My letters to my kids usually start with “Do you know how much you cost me?” or “If only I could buy a giant uterus to shove you two back into”. See? I can do touchy feely, too.

  2. On March 12th, 2008 at 12:32 pm Kyddryn Says:

    That’s so sweet.

    My brother (older) tried to kill me on a regular basis, at least until he found out I knew how to make chocolate chip cookies. Then he mostly ignored me unless he had the munchies.

    Ah sibling bribery…er…rivalry…

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  3. On March 12th, 2008 at 12:52 pm Amy Says:

    I’m sure you’ve heard this before but, you’re FUNNY! I’ve looked at your blog several times before but today I got a little bit HOOKED! Thanks for your funny raw lovable reality.

    Oh and thanks for the comments on my blog too.

  4. On March 12th, 2008 at 1:11 pm Kristine Says:

    Each of my two older sisters got a little sister right around age 6. When I turned 6, I asked for mine. And my mom said something about being 40 and NO!! I had one of each type of older sisters (one hated us, and the other, because she was hated by the oldest, loved me like no one else.)

    Ben sounds like a great older brother.

  5. On March 12th, 2008 at 1:32 pm b Says:

    you do realize that i HAVE to love you now because you use words like mayhap. right?

  6. On March 12th, 2008 at 1:39 pm kbreints Says:

    Love it! You are absolutly hysterical (in a good way most of the time) 😉

  7. On March 12th, 2008 at 1:55 pm kalakly Says:

    My letters to my kids usually contain the phrase, “Hey, too bad, work it out in therapy.”
    They can hate me now and get cofirmation of it later…it’s a win win for them, really.

  8. On March 12th, 2008 at 1:56 pm kalakly Says:

    sorry, coNfirmation…why can’t comments have SPELL CHECK!

  9. On March 12th, 2008 at 1:59 pm Calliope Says:

    this cracked me up & made me a bit weepy all at the same time.

  10. On March 12th, 2008 at 2:00 pm LAS Says:

    I love this!

  11. On March 12th, 2008 at 3:33 pm Don Mills Diva Says:

    How is it that I’ve never found your blog before? You are hilarious!

  12. On March 12th, 2008 at 3:41 pm Heather Says:

    You know, I am continually in awe of how The MAN treats his sister; I’m very impressed – I hope it lasts. My own sister and I came within seconds of killing each other often (and still do if we spend enough time together), so it’s nice to see that not all siblings hate each other.

  13. On March 12th, 2008 at 3:58 pm Ames Says:

    Great post. Now I have an idea of all the things I missed by not having any siblings…

  14. On March 12th, 2008 at 4:46 pm Tracy Says:

    Ahh…. I’ve been having a some days like Ben’s myself, pecking at others in my home, and I don’t have much cuteness left to offset it.

    I’m hopeful that a good deal of it can be chalked up to a midwestern/end of winter/cabin fever kind of thing.

  15. On March 12th, 2008 at 4:49 pm Angela Says:

    I’d have Nina lend him a hand, but it seems she is missing a limb.

  16. On March 12th, 2008 at 5:50 pm shay Says:

    You are hilarious and insightful as usual plus you say out loud the things I only think quietly to myself or laugh under my breath to my sil lol.

    He’ll be just fine. It’s probably winter, my kids are much nicer now that they can run themselves to exhaustion outside:) Much harder to be nasty when you’re asleep;-)

    Good luck!

  17. On March 12th, 2008 at 6:53 pm Kristen Says:

    I love reading all the things the rest of us are shy to say, and still you warm my heart.
    I too have a know-it-all son and I have to say the transition to teenagehood is not any smoother because of it. It only gets worse. sorry.

  18. On March 12th, 2008 at 7:00 pm Judy Says:

    Becky, First class – find an agent and get published!

  19. On March 12th, 2008 at 7:04 pm kate Says:

    one brother, three sisters. i feel your pain. great post.

  20. On March 12th, 2008 at 9:07 pm TheRamblingHousewife Says:

    Very sweet–and honest all at the same time! 🙂

  21. On March 12th, 2008 at 10:06 pm honeywine Says:

    lol I’m always threatening to sell children to gypsies. I used to threaten my neighbor’s kid with it 3 times a week. Of course, now I wonder if they even know what a gypsy is? Maybe they think Stevie Nicks is going to sneak in their window one night and make them wear flowy clothes and eyeliner…

  22. On March 12th, 2008 at 10:39 pm Jenn Says:

    I always resented my younger brother. Mainly because he was so obviously favored by my mom.

  23. On March 13th, 2008 at 12:23 pm Emily Says:

    That was lovely. I, too, relish my boys’ relationship with one another because of the lousy one I have with my sister.

    I loved this post.

  24. On March 13th, 2008 at 2:45 pm Redneck Mommy Says:

    I didn’t get along with my siblings until I was grown up and on my own. Which is why I love the fact my kids are inseparable.

    But um, age 7 is worse.

    Trust me.

  25. On March 13th, 2008 at 10:18 pm pamajama Says:

    When my son was about 6 he gave me a card for Mother’s day. My boyfriend at the time had picked it up for him. He signed it and gave it to me. He then felt the need to disagree with the statement on the card and said, “Well, you’re NOT the BEST MOTHER EVER.”

    The mother/son relationship is so freaking complex. And you are lucky enough to be doing it twice!

  26. On March 14th, 2008 at 6:22 am Jessi Louise Says:

    I am well aquainted with 6. Sometimes he can seem so mature and grown up but then before I know it he’s namecalling and screaming for someone to tie his shoe or wash his hair because even though he knows how, it’s just too much work.

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