Minus the time that I remember him chasing me down the hallway in the upper story of our old farmhouse where he corned me in the spare bedroom and I had just enough time to slam the door in his face before the hard plastic teeth of the toy T-Rex in his hands took a chunk out of the wood as he swung it at me, my little brother John and I have always been friends.
Dramatics and possible embellishments aside (I used to love hiding at the top of the stairs and jumping out to scare the BuhJesus out of him whether he was coming or going, so it’s possible I deserved the dinosaur chase), we really have always gotten along. This is a fortunate outcome because had we not been buds, we would have been SOL as kids living out in the country in the dark ages before internet and cellphones (or at least I would have been because there were no other little girls anywhere close to our house to consider neighborhood friends of mine).
As it was, John and I enjoyed the heck out of our childhood together and were content to join each other for play time (think LEGO and Ninja Turtles), watching a show (PBS because what other choice did we have, but also, because we loved it), and farm exploration (digging up rocks, riding bikes on the gravel driveway, and exploring the grove – especially when it filled up with snow in the winter). I also spent a rather inordinate amount of time as a kid at our grandparent’s house watching him play Grandma Gert’s original Nintendo. Why I didn’t join him in the games, I have no clue, but my kids would find it hilarious now (given how much I don’t touch our Switch or watch their gaming) to know just how many hours I logged watching him play Mario and Legend of Zelda back in the day.
Games in general have always been our family’s thing so be it board- or card-based, I have always liked versing John in such because he’s a good competitor. He’s also whip smart with trivia and has long been my go-to person for politics and music recs, including some of my favorite bands like Guster that came to me via his burned CDs back in the day. These days I’d need about a dozen of those CDs to get me through the long drive to TX to see him but recently my kids have followed in my footsteps and found a way to stay connected with their uncle via gaming. It started with creativity during COVID times and Zoom dates so they could play Minecraft and Mario Party together from our respective houses. Not quite the same as me curling up on Gertie’s love seat to see if he could save Princess Peach (or Zelda) like back in the day, but fun all the same and really cool to witness that transfer to a new generation.