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, "don't 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.
a while ago, i read 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 WILL end. blessed be.