I have great memories of my brothers.
Growing up with three brothers and two sisters makes it impossible to have a dull childhood. I will say that my twin sister and I are the youngest of the siblings so I didn't really have a lot of time with my oldest sister. She did visit during the holidays with her husband(s). And, I can remember thinking how weird it was to have a sister that was already married. Since she wasn't around much I just don't have the childhood memories of her. There are memories, oh yes there are...but those are later in life. Let's just make this about the boys. I'll start with the oldest one.
He's 12 years older than me. That means I was only 6 years old when he graduated from High School. Needless to say I don't remember much of his childhood or high school days. Honestly, to this day I don't really even know what he did immediately out of High School. I think he went to UC Davis or Sac State. I could be wrong, but he had to be close enough to come home often because he used to babysit my sister and I when my mom and dad went out of town for the weekend. Most of my memories are from when he lived in the bay area. I loved it when he came home to visit. I remember telling my friends that I was grounded for the weekend and couldn't come out to play. I didn't want to miss a minute of time with him and his funny stories and I never wanted to share my brother with any of my friends.
One October, he came home to keep my sister and I for the weekend while my parents went to Carmel. I didn't even know he was coming let alone that my parents were going out of town. It was Halloween weekend and I had big plans to trick-or-treat. I didn't know what I was going to dress as because my mom always took care of that. Usually, my youngest brother would take us to the parade that was downtown just before it got dark and then he and his friends would walk my twin and me and all of our friends around the neighborhood ringing doorbells. We would use pillow cases as our bags and we filled them up to the top every year! When I got home from school that day there was a note on the kitchen table from my mom that she and daddy were going to be out of town for the weekend but my oldest brother was coming home to stay with us. A little p.s. said, "Your father and I didn't get Halloween costumes this year so you and your sister should spend time with your brother tonight instead of trick-or-treating." I was devastated. I had looked forward to trick-or-treating all year and now I have to spend time with my brother?!?! When he arrived a few hours later he found my sister and I upstairs laying on our beds crying. I can imagine that it broke his heart to see his baby sisters crying because he really did make it up to us.
He was bound and determined to get us to the parade and take us trick-or-treating so he went to my parents room and started creating costumes. He dressed my twin up as a hobo. He put her up in some of my dad's jeans and an old flannel shirt. Add two mismatched socks and two different tennis shoes. He smeared vaseline on her cheeks and chin and then basically dipped her face into the coffee can! She was a really great looking Hobo. I was a little jealous that her outfit had come together so quickly. We had to hurry though becuase he wanted us to be *IN* the parade. For everyone to see. What in the world was he going to dress me as?
He left the house and told us to sit tight, he'd be right back. When he returned, I cried again. He was holding the BIGGEST brazier I had ever seen in one had, and a pretty skirt and blouse with some VERY high heeled, strappy sandals in the other. With some pantyhose from my mothers drawer my outfit would be complete. I put the panty hose on, the skirt, the blouse, and the heels. I didn't quite know how I was going to get the board that was my chest to fill out that enormous bra. He had gone to my mom's best friend's house to borrow one of hers. I'd have to use every pair of socks and even underwear to fill up that beast! And that is exactly what he did. He even used extra t-shirts to fill up the back side of my underwear! My brother threw some makeup on me and some very red lipstick. He curled my hair and back combed it in record time.
With my chest and rear swollen the three of us headed to the parade. We made it with seconds to spare....I was so uncomfortable and trying not to cry. Everyone was staring at me and laughing as they pointed at me. It was the first time ever that I hated my brother. I wanted nothing more than to get to the end of Main Street and rip off the heels so that I could cut across the creek and run home. When I made it to the National Hotel at the end of Main Street I could hear my name being called out. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my brother running towards me. He had the biggest grin on his face. I don't remember everything he was shouting at me. Something about the west but I couldn't understand him as he was pushing me up the stairs to the stage. My name was being called because I won 2nd place for Best Costume. I stood on the steps of the National Hotel with one boob lower than the other. Everyone was watching me. Laughing. At me. I could feel the stuffing slipping from the elastic ridge of my panties.....my butt was ever so slowly sagging. The man with the microphone was in hysterics as he shoved the microphone to my face. He asked me who I was dressed as. But, everything was such a blur and moving so fast, I couldn't even think straight. That must have been why the laughter suddenly roared when the only thing that came out of my mouth was "my brother......"
I don't remember how I got home. I just remember that it took what seemed like hours to remove the makeup that he had applied to my face. I remember using the entire jar of my mothers Ponds cold cream. I didn't get in trouble though, I just blamed it on my brother.
For years I didn't even know what my oldest brother had dressed me as. Until one weekend many, many years later he had come home for a visit. My sister and I had begged so many times to go back home with him for a few days. We wanted to stay the night at his apartment. He moved to the Bay Area and we really wanted him to take us to San Francisco. He and my parents finally agreed. On one condition. He was not to dress me up again as Mae West. There was a lot of laughter but he agreed.
I can't speak for my sister but I know that I had the greatest time staying at my brothers place. He did take us to the city. We got to ride B.A.R.T. Bay Area Rapid Transit. It's where the buisness people commuted to and from work. So, cool! There are windows on that train as well. We could see all around the area my brother lived. At one point on the trip to San Francisco the train actually has to ride under the bay. And because I tend to be a tiny bit guillable, my brother told me that if I looked really hard I could see the fish as we were under the water. I believed him. I even told him I saw a fish. I wanted him to feel as crazy as he made me feel. But we were little grown ups when we were with my oldest brother because he was such a grown up and we wanted him to want us around.
There are so many more stories - like the time he actually did get in trouble for having a party. My parents would have never found out if it weren't for my sister and I. We didn't tell on him either because we weren't even 5 years old. It's just that he forgot to put us in our pajamas for bed. The next morning when my parents came home and woke us up, not only did we still have the dresses on from the day before but my oldest brother had even forgot to take our shoes off!
I think that's the only time ever that he neglected us. Because he was already 12 when we were born he took on a lot of the responsibility of taking care of us. He didn't get to walk us to school but he did get to walk me into my very first job after High School and I'll never ever forget how much he has been there for me. Although he lives in Arizona and I in Mississippi he is still supportive of his litte sister.