You know how they say that you can take the girl out of the 80's but you can't take the 80's out of the girl? Well, it would appear that you can't take the 80's out of my younger brother either!
After the trip to try on and pick up The Dress yesterday afternoon, we hot footed it down to my brother's house for fireworks, winter warming food, kiddie play time closely followed by kiddie bedtime and winter warming alcohol!
My brother is seven years younger than me and as all kids do, we scrapped and fought our way through childhood, only to get on like a house on fire after I left home. Even the actual way in which I left home involved us having a sitcom scrappy sibling moment! At the age of eighteen, having had enough of being designated babysitter for my little bro whilst my mother went out on dates in search of The One, I decided enough was enough. Not of him you understand but of being put upon whilst I watched my teen years slipping away faster than a pair of roller boots down a very steep hill!
After one particularly nasty row, I stomped upstairs, filled three black bin liners with all my worldly goods and dragged them down the stairs with as much stealth as I could master. I had just opened the front door when the little bro dobbed me in, yelling "Mum, she's leaving and she's got three black rubbish bags full of stuff"!
I don't remember what happened immediately after but I do remember setting up camp at my best friend H's mum's house for the next couple of weeks which was only about ten doors down the hill! And I distinctly remember the letterbox flap opening several times with little bro's face poking through saying "Mum says you have to come home now... or else!" Looking back now I can laugh but I feel sad for what he must have felt about all that at the tender age of eleven; what makes me sadder is that I didn't consider the impact on him at the time. I was too caught up in my teenage angst to think about what my leaving might mean for his life.
I never went back except for two weeks after the first marriage came to a messy end and those two weeks turned out to be a huge mistake that left me running, funnily enough, back down the hill again, this time to a bedsit. It was only many years later when we were chowing down on Chinese food at his house and the conversation turned to "those times" that I started to understand what he dealt with. Now that we are both parents and have shared our innermost feelings about that era, we have formed an unbreakable bond and I don't think he knows how truly proud of him I am for building his own life on what were pretty shaky foundations.
Last night was a cheery testament to how much detail he remembers about my teen years! In advance of our get together he had downloaded a ton of 80's tunes that he remembers blaring out of my bedroom, half of which even I'd no recollection of! As the wine flowed and we all sat there in full on on pop quiz mode, he reeled off a load of anecdotes that I had completely forgotten about too. Coupled with the music which always has the power to bring back vivid memories, I was transported back to the time of fingerless gloves, Frankie Say Relax T shirts and my music centre with the graphic equalizer that I thought was the dog's danglies!
One of us may have left back then but she will always be there for him now if needs her.