My brother and I hit/slapped/punched/pummeled each other until we were far too old to be doing such a thing. My mother thought it would never end. I remember being 14 years old and going after him with a firepoker. He held my face in the snow until I sobbed when I was 15. I knocked his tooth out in a particularly feisty altercation. (A pattern, it seems…) In high school I learned very quickly to not fall asleep on the couch; BabyBro would take a running start and all 250 pounds of him would come crashing on my back. I was heavy and stubborn as an ox; he was the captain of the football team and outweighed me by….a lot. We definitely broke some things.
We never really got along and I cannot remember a time when we didn’t fight. I think being so incredibly different made us natural adversaries. He was popular, I was not. I excelled in school, he struggled. I was brimming with opinions, he was always a people pleaser. The fact that we were 11 months apart didn’t help. If I had a dime for every time a teacher said “I cannot believe BabyBro is your brother!”
Despite all the physical nonsense, the words were always more hurtful. He coined my middle school nickname, “The Beast”. I would walk on the bus and hear “Beeeeasssst”. Sometimes, it would take a Spanish flavor and morph into “La Beastia”. He also was the brains behind “Titty Mamma” and “Helen Keller” (as in my acne was so bad you could read braile off my forehead).
My retort? To all of this? It was always the same. “You were a mistake.” Now, let’s be honest; he was an accident. No one has a kid in January and actively tries to have another one by January, but that was what happened with me and my brother. Wires got…crossed. So, while my parent’s did want to have more than one kid, I speak the truth when I say they didn’t want him so damn soon. So yes, my only response to all my brother’s taunting was to remind him his existence was an accident.
As an older, more mature adult (stop laughing) I actually feel pretty awful about the years I spent calling BabyBro a mistake. I mean, you make a mistake on a math test or on a spreadsheet; a person isn’t a mistake. Then again, I like to think I am not a beast…
You wanna see a mistake? Look below, kids. This was my attempt at pasta from scratch…and, yeah. It was not so good. I tried to hand roll it and it just didn’t get thin enough. Now, it was entirely edible, but I would never serve it to a guest. It was thick and a bit gummy….just an all around disappointment. Such a sad mistake this was…but hey, accidents happen.