Watching my kids play together reminds me of the good old days. My younger brother, Paul, was only two years behind me. We were close in age and close in general. Don’t get me wrong, we fought, like all siblings do, but we were always pretty good friends growing up.
I get nostalgic thinking of all the fun things we used to do. In third grade, my idol was Harriet Welsch from the book Harriet the Spy. We started a spy club; we used to spy on our downstairs neighbors (they didn’t like us because we were noisy), we invented magic “potions” from all the beauty products in the bathroom, we made radio shows with our Fisher Price tape recorder, played walkie-talkies outside, held “karate” matches in the living room. One summer we watched the movie Back to the Future so frequently we could both recite it. We went to the penny candy store with all our loose change and bought the entire carton of candy cigarettes and thought we were so funny doing it. We sneaked out of bed late at night to play Atari, then Nintendo. When we got older we worked part time together at the same department store. Sometimes we hung out with the same people.
Paul had a falling out with the family (not me) in 2005 and has been estranged from us since then. After my mother died in 2001, I don’t think he was ever the same. I haven’t talked to him in years. He’s never met his nephew and niece. I miss him and think of him everyday. I worry about him. I hope he’s okay. I hope he comes back to us someday.
I’m thankful that my kids have each other. I hope they always do.