I have two older brothers. The eldest is ten years older and the little brother (as I call him) is five years older. There is quite a span between us as I was a whoops. Gosh, if you really want to make your mother flip her wig, imply that you were a whoops. But it couldn't be more obvious that I was.
Anyway. I like having brothers. I am sure I say that as I haven't experienced sisters but I just think that there is a comfort in brothers.
My eldest brother I call "Brother Dear". It's from the Peanuts cartoons, Sally refers to Charlie that way. Peanuts were huge when I was younger so their storylines, sayings and expressions are hard-wired into my brain.
I rely on my eldest brother to be the sensible one. He's usually the calmest of us all. He's a firefighter and a single dad of teenage girls, it's going to take a lot to rattle him. I believe I've learned my roll-with-it attitude from Brother Dear.
We've grown our relationship only after I became a grown-up. He was out of the house when I was only in third grade. That's a big gap in our relationship! He tried though. Before he left to go into the Army, he built me a tree house, he taught me how to climb trees, took me to movies and tried to fit a few years into a small amount of time. He said once that he was conflicted about joining the Army as he would miss a large chunk of my childhood. But he did what he had to do and we got through it.
Now he's the one that I call when our parents are pissing me off or I've rolled my truck or whatever. He's called needing help with the girls or once even help sand-bagging river dikes. (how's that for "country'?) To sum it up, we have each other's backs.
My relationship with my Little Brother, called that because he was the younger of the two boys and frankly, the least mature of all of us, is a little strained. Our relationship was not a great one growing up. While he was my brother and took care of me while my parents were gone, he was not the easiest guy growing up. He is, unfortunately, still not the easiest guy. He is Droopy Dog...if anything is going to go wrong, it will for him. I've learned to be adamantly positive due to Little Brother, if nothing else but as a coping technique.
But that's the way of families. We each have our quirks. I am a big fan of the birth order theory and as we've aged, I've watched us each fall mostly into our categories. Due to the age difference, I have tendencies toward both youngest and only child. Leave it to me to be complicated.
It's comforting knowing that in my old age, I will have my brothers to rely on, connect with and remind me of who I am. The Little Sister. The One Who Speakest Beforest Thinking. The one that "handles things."
As we traverse along the mine-ridden path of aging parents, we bond more & more. My maternal grandmother lived to be 103 and maternal great aunt lived to be 104. I will hopefully have a long time with my brothers. And neither of them will ever let me forget it. We've become a team. We grew up as The Moore Kids and lost that as adults. I see it swinging the other way now as our parents age and fade away. Even though we're all in our *cough* forties now...someone turns 50 in March though...we've become The Moore Kids again.
Oh the comfort of brothers. Never letting you forget where you've been, who you are and when you've screwed up.