Saturday, February 9, 2008

happy birthday, johnny joe

according to family lore, while my mother was in the hospital having my brother, my grandmother told me a story about a telephone repairman named jake. im not sure what amazing adventure the lineman could've had, but the name seared itself into my not-quite-two-year-old brain and when they brought my brother home, i suggested we call him jake.

to pacify the little demon brewing in my soul, they agreed. so jake my brother was, until my aunt katherine showed up for a visit and declared, "you can't possibly call this dear little baby jake - call him johnny joe." and johnny joe he was, until he got old enough to resist.

people who think they should have children spaced close together should think again. i remember being two. i remember the rage of sibling rivalry. i'd have killed him if i could.

just yesterday i was reading about a pediatrician who has a new technique for handling the toddler terribles. his approach is founded on the premise that children that age aren't civilized. you can't reason with them yet, because they have no ability to reason. the hard-wiring in the brain isn't there. i believe him. i remember being two.

my brother grew up in spite of any effort of mine to the contrary. today he is a successful man by any standard, the wonderful father of two adorable and adored girls. he lives safely on the other side of the country. i like to think he's a better man because of me.

so happy birthday, johnny joe.... from the sister who let you live.

and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.


My name is Stacie. said...

i was 10 months old when my mom brought my sister home from the hospital. i stopped walking and wouldn't have anything to do with my mom for several days.

Kathy said...

Robert was 3-1/2 when we brought Joseph home. When asked by his grandmother how it was going he nodded thoughtfully and said, "OK." Then he leaned over to my mother and whispered, "I think they are going to keep him."