Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday Memories: My Siblings

I'm a few weeks behind in the Monday Memories posts- but I won't lump too many into single posts. Instead, I'll just start with the siblings and beg forgiveness.

This is a re-post from a while back since I have already written about my siblings.

While growing up, I found that there are advantages to being an only child.  This is especially true when there is doting to be carried out because you are the only receiver of said doting. And, for the first twelve years of my life I was doted on to the point of embarrassment. Of course, there are down sides. The obvious one being if someone broke the lamp, forgot to feed or water the dog or didn't take out the trash, there was very little detective work needed to identify the guilty party. There is also the loneliness of being an only child. When it's raining outside and everyone is stuck inside, you are stuck inside alone. Well, your parents might be around but what fun are they? Mine weren't really the type to be playing with their kid. (I am a much cooler parents than mine were..shhhh.) My dad's only sister lived just across the street and down a couple of houses from us and she had four children- two girls and two boys. The third child in my aunt's brood was my cousin Diane and there was but a mere six months difference in our ages and we played all the time. I loved to go over to their house or have Diane over playing at my house. When we all got together we would play football or softball; hide and seek or freeze tag; all the fun, active outside greatest games of all time! They had a big family and it was FUN! But, when the weather was bad or it was time to go inside for the evening, they got to go in together. I had to go home alone. I was always so jealous of my cousins and their big family.  Oh and, adding insult to injury, at lunch time during the summer? They got to have Kool-Aid. Oh yeah. Even my best friend during those years (CM) had three younger brothers. I thought that I was, perhaps, the only girl in America without siblings. But, in the fall of 1970, all of that changed.

My parents had considered adopting a boy-- a brother for me, a son for themselves. We had been through the countless interviews with DSS and, finally, our caseworker called and to tell my parents they had a boy for them to adopt. I went to stay with CM while the parents went to meet the boy. CM and I spent a good portion of that afternoon discussing brothers. All I really knew was how to be a spoiled only child. A role I not only took seriously, but also portrayed quite well (let's be honest- I relished it). Even so, I was, actually, very excited that there would be someone around to spend time with when the other kids weren’t around. Late that afternoon, my parents called to say they were on their way with my brothers. Wait. What? BrotherS?  I couldn't believe their words. They were bringing home THREE brothers instead of one. We had grown from a family of three to a family of six in only one afternoon.  

My brothers were three actual, biological brothers, ages 9, 10, and 11, in need of a home and our parents decided that we could give them just that. Surprisingly, there didn’t seem to be much of an adjustment period…or maybe I just don’t remember. I do remember that I went right up to each of them on that very first day and gave them great big hugs and it was like they had always been with me.  When I look back on my childhood, I can remember things I did before the boys came to live with us, but only spurts here and there and most of those precious memories involve my wonderful grandparents. However, I have tons of memories with my brothers.  TONS! And they are good memories. When the neighborhood kids got together to play, my brothers and I joined in the fun. And, when it was time to go home? My brothers and I went home together. If something was broken, or forgot to feed or water the dog, or a chore remained undone—the parents had to play the guessing game or interrogate all four of us! Rainy days? No problem. We played inside! Together.  

Oh, and that thing about being a spoiled only child? The only thing that changed there was my only child status. My brothers swooped in and made the spoiled trait of mine worse than ever! And protective? Oh yes! I never had to worry about anybody doing anything to me EVER. By the same token, I was extremely protective of them as well. I never cared what anyone said or did to me but, if they messed with one of my brothers? Jump back Jack! We had our fair share of fights disagreements but nothing that ever lasted very long. Mostly, we just had a great time being a family.   

Through the years we’ve all gone in different directions…traveled our own paths. One brother is still trying to find his place in this world though he never fails to keep in constant touch with us. He’s the baby of the family but still calls me ‘baby girl.’ One is so busy being resentful of everything and everybody for whatever he decides they are guilty of that he keeps his distance—trust me, he’s really happiest when he can host pity parties and, from him, we have learned that misery does NOT love company. One followed his path via the Navy but lives close now. He is still the one who tries to take care of all of us. He’s the one who took our parents aside on that first day and told them that he would be fine but would they please take his little brothers (OMG, that is SO him—always thinking of everyone else). He’s also the one who keeps us all laughing all the time.

Am I still a spoiled princess? I've really outgrown it. Except where my brothers are concerned. They still treat me that way. And I'm ok with that.  

Retired Not Tired Memory Monday


  1. I think it is so great that your folks adopted all the boys so they could stay together! You are all so blessed and it shows in your tribute to them, Pam. This is a very touching post. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    1. Terri, so glad you enjoyed it. It wsa quite the journey with those wonderful boys. They turned my life into something way more exciting than it was. I am quite close to one of them still and I don't know what I'd do without his humor and support. :)

  2. That is a great post, Pam. I think it's so amazing that everyone adapted so well with adopting three boys! So nice that you got siblings and were no longer the only child. Sweet.

    1. Thank you, Judy! Many people say it was an amazng feat to adapt but I was just glad not to be the only child! LOL


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