brother, sister

Posted on May 28, 2008


driving through the heart of clairemont’s grid of suburban side streets on my way to shoot a few baskets at gershwin park (no relation), I stopped at an intersection to let a brother and sister cross the street.

the brother was probably around 8, and his trailing sister maybe 5. she followed no more than a foot behind him, falling perfectly in step with his own. she mimicked his hand motions – he threw his hands up momentarily, and so did she. he started pounding his right fist into his left palm, and she followed along exactly.

and in one of those oddly reminiscent moments, I started to think about my relationship with my little sister. I guess, growing up, I was never really aware of how she viewed my actions, and I’m still pretty ignorant about it. I’ve no memories of her copying me the way the kid on the street imitated her older brother, but I’m all of a sudden uneasy with the fact that my actions may have pulled some sort of weight with her. I wasn’t always the best brother, and I’m sure I began to grasp the concept of spitefulness at her expense. surely I wasn’t horrible, but I wonder what things of positive acclaim, if any, she associates with me.

furthermore, I think I’m more afraid that my actions as an older brother had little or no influence on her. she’s 1819 now, and a much more decent, upstanding human being than I am, and I’m proud as heck of what she’s done and who she continues to become. even back in the day, I remember feeling a brotherly, associative pride in her accomplishments; a first-prize plaque in some agricultural drawing contest comes to mind.

I can be a jerk and say that she’s far exceeded my expectations, or I can be honest and say that I expected nothing less and hope for even more. and in light of that, I can only wonder and speculate if I’ve played some sort of affirmative, positive role in her life. would it be a massive failing if I haven’t? I’m afraid so.

I’m okay with the fact that I don’t remember her ever copying my movements. I’m also okay with her never intending to mimic me. but, at the very least, I hope I can let her know that it’s safe to cross the street.

Posted in: reflection