Recently, I was asked to describe my first brush with danger. The old “Life” movie reel in my head started going in reverse but I couldn’t really recall any “close calls” from when I was young. The only things that came to mind were all of my little brother’s lucky breaks.
I am 2.5 years older than him, so his really early life is foggy to me. I do remember not liking him (I was the first child and I was perfect, so I couldn’t understand why my parents wanted another). He was a chubby baby and we had one of those really old school walkers. He must have been about a year old and moving all over the place in that thing when my mom went downstairs to swap laundry and didn’t get the door shut tight. To the stairs he goes and right at the top, before what could have been a tragic tumble down old wooden stairs on top of a concrete floor, the walker sort of folds up and locks. Hanging precariously over the top of the stairs, he waits for my unknowing mom to head back up. (Ok the chubby part not relevant but in case he ever reads this I want him to be aware the world knows he was a tank)
I don’t really remember that as much as I remember hearing about it. Had I known he was so vulnerable to injury at that moment I probably would have given him the extra push. I mentioned I didn’t like him, right. I used to have him follow behind me while I carried something and “conveniently” dropped it. When I went to pick it up, I would kick my leg back for balance as I had seen my mother do and smoke him right in the face (I didn’t witness that, came up with that all on my own). Being the great big sister I was, he was also convinced to eat change because eventually it would “turn to lots of money”. Probably small offenses compared to what happens when he turns 4. We’ll get to that in a minute.
We went fishing in my dad’s boat often as kids and the summer my brother was 3 I distinctly remember him peering over the side looking at the water in his yellow life jacket when we heard “bloop”. Before anyone could think, but not before my mom could start freaking out, my godfather reached his hand in the water and scooped my brother out and back into the boat. It is lucky we were trolling and moving the speed of a sloth or he may have met an unfavorable fate.
Here it is, the how I inadvertently put lil Jethro’s(his nickname) well-being at risk when he was 4. It was April Fools Day and we went to the post office with my mom. I was less than a month from being 7 and was apparently old enough to stay in the car while my mom went in and got stamps. My brother wanted to stay too, but 4 is simply too young. Mommy did her best to talk me into going with but I was going to throw a fit if I had to and we were in a hurry. They go in and do whatever and though I wasn’t allowed to sit up front, I had moved there and was scanning through the radio. Seeing that I was in front sent little brother running angrily towards the car without following the “stop, look, and listen” advice. Before my mom could grab him (I think she was putting stamps away in her purse) he was in the parking lot and immediately met a big boat of a car. I don’t remember any specifics except the ambulance ride where he held his head and screamed. He ended up fine- just his foot run over and not broken and bumped his head when he fell over. We called my dad at work but he knew what day it was so he didn’t believe us until he came home. This was a time before picture mail and cell phones, which is lucky cuz had the lady who hit him been on a cell phone, she might not have been paying as close attention.
All that in the first 4 years of life. Sometime a couple years ago he was in a rollover accident and walked away from that without a scratch. There has still been sibling rivalry throughout the years (He stabbed me in the knee with a pen I retaliated with a pencil to the chest, pushing each other off bikes, thrown rollerblades, etc.) but I have to say I am glad they were just brushes with danger because I wouldn’t be where I am without him. He helped me finance my move and I am the happiest I’ve ever been in CO. I owe every happy experience and all my wonderful friends here to him and I don’t know how I could ever repay him….except by actually repaying him…I kid! He’s almost halfway paid off. Once that’s done I suppose I should watch out for people yielding dangerous writing utensils ;-).