50 years ago I got a BABY BROTHER. I didn’t WANT a baby brother. He wasn’t supposed to BE a baby brother, I already had a brother. I was supposed to have a baby SISTER for my 8th birthday. which had just been 6 days before. My other brother would be 6 in just 3 months and he’d asked for a baby brother. But a baby sister was supposed to be MY birthday present and ever since Christmas, when our parents had told us the news of the upcoming addition to our family, my brother and I had been very excited and joyously awaiting the baby’s arrival. But we also had been constantly arguing about which of us would be right. I had been positive that I was getting a sister because it was MY birthday; besides, I’m the oldest and I felt as if I deserved a sister! I’d always prayed for a baby sister and a big brother! Mama said that we couldn’t get the big brother but perhaps we could get the baby sister. I thought that meant that it was a ‘done deal’. (The photo above is the earliest photo of my youngest brother with our Daddy.)
When Daddy came home from the hospital and announced to my brother and Gramma and I that we had a baby boy to add to the family, I was in total disbelief. I did not want this news and I wouldn’t even smile or give my Daddy a hug. I just pouted. When the baby was brought home, I didn’t want anything to do with him. I wouldn’t even look at him. I winced when he cried and ignored everybody that visited when they ‘oohed and aahed’ over the new baby. As far as I was concerned, he wasn’t there. Our family was just the same as it was before: Mama, Daddy, my bratty brother, and myself. I didn’t want to hold the baby or give the baby his bottle or even sit next to the baby for a photograph. His crib was in the corner of my parents’ bedroom and I don’t remember the baby making much noise at all. According to Mama, one day she watched me pass the baby when he was 2 months old. Evidently the baby was staring at me and smiled. Mama hid so that I wouldn’t see her. I was curious when the baby grabbed the bars of the crib and was cooing AT ME….I thought he knew me and he was smiling and laughing. He was very happy to see me! I thought that nobody was around so I stopped and looked at him….then touched his little fingers and he grabbed onto mine. Then I reached to touch his chubby cheeks and was amazed at their softness! The baby boy was soooo happy by this time, and to my amazement, so was I! I kissed him!!! It just took a few moments but by now Mama had come out of the shadows and caressed my shoulder and lifted the baby outa his crib to change his diaper. This was the first diaper-change that I witnessed and I knew that I wanted no part of that! Thankfully she never asked for that kind of help! From then on I rocked the baby and he became my constant little companion. By the time school started the day following Labor Day, I was sad to have to get on that schoolbus and go to 3rd-grade but the baby was always excited to see me come home!
As we grew up, my brothers fought a lot and were constantly getting (or trying to) each other into trouble. Probably most brothers do. My other brother and I were always arguing and complaining about something or another. This is rather common since we are 2&1/4-years apart. But there’s 8 years between my youngest brother and I. We didn’t fight. We always got along. Even today, now that we’re at that dreaded middle-aged mark in our lives….I’d still consider my BABY BROTHER to be one of the best buddies and confidantes that I’ve had throughout my entire lifetime. He doesn’t even get mad at me if he doesn’t like my opinion or perhaps we don’t agree. He still calls me nearly every week, usually either right before or right after he talks to our Mama. Family means the world to him, and that is a view that we share wholeheartedly!
He has 2 daughters, but waited to have children until later in life than our other brother and I did. So when my 3 kiddies were very little, he was the younger Uncle that knew nothing about child-rearing. He bought gifts that made the most noise and that he thought would be funny because he knew that it’d annoy ME the most! And he’d laugh! He did the same thing with our other brother and his 2 children, who are approximately the same age as my kids. Yep, again he’d laugh! So when our kids were teens and our baby brother had his 2 girls, of course my other brother and I bought the noisiest gifts that we could find! And then WE LAUGHED!!! Oh yes; payback time!
On another cutesy humorous note, I had to have my gallbladder out when I was 49; so did our other brother….so all year long I’ve been asking my baby brother “how’s your gallbladder?” So I reckon he’s hitting that 50-year mark with gallbladder still intact. I find that rather unusual. My Dr. told me to quit eating fried or spicy foods. My baby brother’s wife is from South Africa and she spices nearly all their foods! So I’m wondering why he still has that gallbladder but at the same time, I’m very glad that he does because it gives him another thing to brag about, anyway!
I remember when our folks turned 50 and we told them that they were officially ‘OVER THE HILL‘! I hit 50 several years ago, as did the other brother; it’s hard to believe that now my BABY BROTHER is 50! I feel sooooo old. When our parents hit 60, I teased that “you’re not only OVER-THE-HILL, now you’re DOWN-IN-THE-VALLEY“! Oh my….I’ll hit 60 in just 2 years. Isn’t it amazing how our views of ‘OLD’ keeps getting about 20 years older than whatever age we currently are? Remember when we were graduating high school at 18 and we thought that 40 was ancient? Sure seems young now!