25 September 2004

Sister and brother, or "Walk it off!"

I haven't done a weekend assignment in a while.

I have an older sister and a younger brother, and there is six years between the three of us.  While I could easily think of a few great stories involving one of them, I wouldn't want to leave out the other.

The problem with this is that there are, shall we say, "memory issues" on a few accounts (three words for you: broken grandfather clock) so I have to whittle it down to something that I am fairly certain all three of us would agree on concerning the details.  If either of them reads this and disagrees I will be glad to follow up.

That something involves fun, games, and of course, an injury, followed by an attempted cover up.

When we were kids, we spent a lot of time at our cousins' home not far from our home.  My aunt and uncle (who were also my Godparents) were very close with my parents; their youngest daughter was my sister's age, and their youngest son was just a little bit older than I was.  It was a big, roomy house.  We usually played in the bedrooms upstairs or in the basement while my parents and Godparents visited in the kitchen or living room.

One night, when I was nine, the five of us found ourselves playing in the living room, while the adults drank tea at the kichen table.  The living room was spacious, with some furniture but also enough room for five kids to goof around on the floor.  I don't know how we ended up doing this, but we played a game called "rolly polly."  Four of us lay on the ground side by side and rolled back and forth, while the other person had to try to step from one end to the other through us without falling.  I don't know how long we had been playing the game when it was my brother's turn to step through the gauntlet.  He was seven at the time, not a big kid, and skinny as a rail. 

I don't remember much else except feeling my brother's foot underneath me as I rolled, then him falling into the space ahead of me.  I switched directions and rolled towards him, because, c'mon! the objective of the game was to keep him from making it to the end.

I also don't remember exactly what happened next, I either rolled over onto my brother's arm, or I rolled over onto his leg as he tried to get up, causing him to fall hard.  I do know that somehow he ended up with a broken arm.

Now every time we visited or cousins, we got "the talk" before we went inside.  Our parents were plain in telling us that if any of us misbehaved, we'd leave immediately.  So as we heard our brother yell in pain, my sister and I went into panic mode: if either of our parents heard him and knew that we had been rough housing, we'd get in trouble and have to leave. 

Imagine that you are seven.  Imagine your arm bending at a forty-five degree angle just below the elbow, imagine the pain that must cause and imagine your brother and sister trying to quiet you down so that you don't blow it for everyone.  We obviously had our priorities.  After a few minutes, when he wouldn't quiet down and it became apparent to us that he was really hurt, we knew we'd have to tell our folks.  To be honest, I don't recall if one of us went and got them, or if we simply allowed our brother to drag his damaged self into the kitchen to present his injury to our parents.

Turns out that his arm was broke.  I remember that I fell asleep in my bed before my parents came home from the ER with my brother(one of our oilder cousins had taken us home).  When I woke up the next morning, I knew I was going to be arrested.  I wasn't even going to plead my case, I was ready for them to slip on the cuffs and take me away.  Fortunately, my parents sat me down right away and assured me that my brother was going to be fine.  They also said that they knew what had happened had been an accident and that they did not want me to feel like I had done something wrong.  It was no one's fault.  They handled the situation perfectly.

Of course, we have revisited this story many times in our family.  It's really the only time that the three of us were involved in something that caused serious injury to one of us.  We always laugh at how my sister and I were more concerned with having to go home than attending to the broken bone of my brother. 

And we are still amazed at the tolerance he had for pain.

1 comment:

ginskia said...

Hi Jim,

I am sorry about the broken arm.  It really was an accident.  I know he does not hold it against anyone.  I am also glad none of you got into trouble for that.

Children are bound to get hurt while playing.

Sounds like all of you had great times together and that is great that all of you are close.

Anita