As I write this, I have just responded to the screams of my daughter JoJo asking me to intervene between her and her brother Ben. Ben pins her down, as he is bigger and stronger, and she cannot move.

“So what?”, someone asks, “siblings do that.” Yeah…….but JoJo is 24 and Ben is 16. I guess this sib thing continues on throughout life.

Now, I look at my brothers, Jim and Bob, and my sisters, Diane and Kathy. I am the baby of the family. I love being the baby. By the time I was 18, my dad was “done” with raising kids, so I got to do a lot of things that my sibs didn’t. Seriously, letting me take a bus to New York City with my buddy Chuck when we were both 17 just so we could see Yankee Stadium before they remodeled it? We did. (But, looking back, we let JoJo go to Italy when she was 17, so maybe I’m like Dad? Oh, Lord, help me!)

As I am the baby,all my sibs are in their 60’s, Jim rapidly approaching 70. (By rapidly, I mean lightning fast approaching). These are HUGE numbers. Jim said yesterday, “It’s hard to believe in 10 years I’ll almost be 80”. I told him not to skip decades and concentrate on the one he’s landing in.

I look at my kids, and they crack me up. I don’t know if I was ever that cool. I know that their dad is cooler than mine, though.

I remember Luke and JoJo wrestling each other, JoJo giving Ben “boobie twisters” and he wasn’t allowed to give them back, which he thought was totally unfair. Ben and Luke making videos together, the three of them at Presque Isle, Disney, California, But the best memories are home memories.

Coloring Easter eggs, Christmas morning, hunting for Easter eggs. They would sit around on their laptops and share music with each other. It reminds me of when I was home with my sibs. I forced my parents to listen to my Beatles records. They never thanked me, come to think of it.

We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but we had a lot of memories, memories that an only child cannot have. Sharing about first dates, first kiss, hitting a home run (I had ONE in little league), I remember listening to “Mr. Tambourine Man” by the Byrds that my sister Kathy had bought, and playing it over and over again. Then joyfully discovering it was Bob Dylan that wrote it. Teasing my sisters because they ironed their hair to straighten it. That’s what they did “back in the day”.

Going to my first movie with my brother Jim, seeing “Mary Poppins” at the Columbia Theater. Watching Bob play high school football (one of the most underrated football players EVER at Sharon High School). Diane walking me down to Bogolin’s market for the first time. All things only children don’t have.

So when I hear JoJo scream, Ben yell, or Luke say “this is stupid” when he can’t figure out how to get out of a seat belt and his sibs laughing at him, it brings me much joy. Kind of like when I was a kid.


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