Friday, October 1, 2010

big sister

i watch m with ruby and think so often about what it must have been like when my little brother johnny was born. jonathan and i are the exact same age distance as m and ruby: 25 months.
susannah & jonathan
it's hard to stop being a big sister. i know it drives my siblings crazy sometimes, and i do work intentionally to not be the big sister anymore, but it's hard when it has been so ingrained for so long. one of the things that is the hardest is to watch my siblings go through pain and loss. for all of my failures and faults as the eldest, i love all three of my younger siblings.
oldest to youngest: me, johnny, becca & aaron

since johnny is 2 years younger than me, i don't really remember life before my brother was born. he has been a part of my life for a long as i can form recollections of childhood.
some of my silliest moments growing up were with my brother. 

my brother's taken a lot of hits since he was a little kid, but sometimes i still see that side of him:

as uncle johnny

or as karaoke king
one thing is true about my brother: he's either on or off- there is no convincing him to be in a good mood if he isn't, and there is no stopping him if he is ridiculously silly. 

jonathan is in the middle of a divorce right now. this wasn't the path he wanted or expected, and so it is hard to see him grieving the loss of something that he thought would last forever. yesterday, after he went to family court, we met for lunch and talked and laughed and snuggled up ruby. it was good just to be with my brother; as unable as either of us are to fast forward this painful season or fix it, we could just hang out, at ease with each other because we have a lifetime of being in each other's space. sometimes siblings make life a whole lot more complicated, but as we shared the afternoon yesterday, i was grateful for our history, for what lies ahead, and for just sitting with my brother.


  1. i like to count myself a member of the johnny ruff fan club. now give me back my 'gift' painting.

  2. are you sure you're not a writer underneath the whole painter/visual artist gig?


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