when i was very small, before the destruction of the "happy family" myth occurred, sunday afternoons were the best. they blaze in my memory as if they only just happened.
being that dad was a pastor, sunday mornings were filled with church.......services, coffee hour, sunday school. we arrived home in time for lunch....or in our neck of the midwest woods, on sunday it was dinner.
mom would make something "big"......a crown roast, pork roast, ham (the old fashioned, still on the bone ham with cloves stuck in the skin), some vegetable, potatoes, salad of some sort, dessert. it was the big "fancy" meal of the week.
dinner was always followed by the game (baseball or football), dad and gerry sacking out on the floor. dad was always tired after a sunday....it was, after all, a work day for him. i think gerry was tired from taking care of (read: chasing) me.
gerry would be lying on the floor, with his knees bent, often dozing. he was 17 - 18 at this time.
i was 4 -5.
i'd come flying in from the kitchen, sit on gerry's knees and slide down, flopping on his stomach (occasionally a little lower--ouch!).
oomph! sheesh rose, i'm trying to nap.
come on, gerry. i wanna play!
i was great with manipulation as a child. it was my eyes. i'd give him that soulful, "please" look and he'd always give in. my great brother.......
okay rose, go get your child craft book.
we had this set of child craft books. can still see them. they were this shade of orangey red and about 16" long. just big enough for me to sit on.
i'd go running to my room and grab one, returning to gerry......
'kay, ger, here it is.
i knew what he'd do. he was my own personal carnival ride. he'd lay his arms over his head, i'd place the book on top of his hands, then sit down back to him, on the book. he'd lift me up and down on that book, from the floor to over his head. i would squeal in delight at my ride.
then he would let me slid down his knees. as long as he was awake and knew what was coming, he could protect sensitive spots. my landings were expected so not quite as shocking as that first one of the afternoon as he dozed.
he'd grab me sometimes, tickling me and tossing me around like a little rag doll. i would laugh and squeal at the fun we would have.
had enough, rose?
up he'd get from the floor, holding me by my arms and swinging me around as my feet flew out. i felt like i was flying.
we'd spend a good couple hours playing like that. sort of rough and tumble, but gerry never forgot i was his baby sister. he always made sure i was safe.
as i look back on those moments i see where the bond we have now grew from. there was a time in our lives when gerry thought me a pretty irresponsible young woman. we didn't talk a great deal.
around my 30th birthday, our relationship started to change. i'd been doing counseling for 3 years at a treatment center for juvenile delinquents at that point. gerry decided that if i could handle that, i must be more responsible than he gave me credit for.
since then, we've talked about those times when i was a small girl. from the time i was a toddler, until the age of 7 when the desertion of my parents occured, gerry was like my dad. he was the one holding me during church, or chasing me around. he was who i went to when upset about something. mom and dad didn't have the time.
funny how playing on a sunday could influence an adult relationship. i trust gerry with my life (literally.....he's my power of attorney, and health care proxy). he's the person i call when things get overwhelming. and we're the ones that share mom's decline and the responsibility of decisions that need to be made.
child craft book carnival rides, knee slides and arm flying........those things created a lasting, strong, unbreakable bond. amazing..............