So years after I was adopted my parents decided to get pregnant and thus began the saga of my little brother Roger. I was conflicted when they told me about the pregnancy. I never doubted their love for me, but I really was not looking forward to sharing them with anyone else. Except an older brother. An older brother would have been cool. I’d requested an older brother and they’d come home with a red headed, squalling bolgna loaf who was definitely NOT older.
Being nine years his elder didn’t leave us with very much in common. At first he was cute, and then he started moving and he wasn’t so cute, and then I entered my “awkward” phase which, by comparison made him even MORE adorable to everyone else, so his stock went down with me. But he was cute. Chubby cheeked, red-headed, freckled little man who looked like he should be shilling peanut butter cups. To this day I’m the woman who can’t pass a red-headed little boy without smiling.
When I was in college I brought my boyfriend home for the weekend. This was a SERIOUS boyfriend. The one I was engaged to because I was GROWN and ABLE TO MAKE SMART DECISIONS. Obviously, as I am a slut at heart we were engaging in premarital boinking as well. My parents were not okay with the engagement, but they were sort of okay with him, so they let him stay in my room while I bunked with my brother. Who wants to bet that that’s not how it stayed when I could hear my dad snoring?
Right. So … keeping in mind I had no respect for my parents AND the fact that I’m a slut at heart AND the fact that I WAS GETTING MARRIED IN FOUR YEARS ANYWAY, you can guess what happened. We did not get caught, but early that next morning when I snuck back into my brother’s room he woke up and said, “I thought you’d go downstairs.” I’m not sure how I responded, but inside I was ashamed of myself. I felt like I’d disappointed him, and I didn’t want to do that. I wasn’t close to him, but even then, in my asshole phase I knew Roger was a better person than I was. He worked harder in school, he practiced harder in sports, he didn’t pick fights with our mother, he had a relationship with our father. I knew that despite the petty jealousies that I nurtured toward him, I really liked the kid and I wanted him to like me.
It’s been nearly 20 years since then and I think I’ve finally gotten my wish.