Antique Childhood

My Big Brother is 50!

My mother’s first child, my brother John, turns 50 today!

From the stories my mom tells about John, it’s a wonder that they had any more children after him. I guess I owe my life to the iron hand of the Catholic church and the fact that John was just so darn cute they couldn’t stop at one.

John pretty much ruined it for my middle brother and me in terms of getting any perks. For example, if it weren’t for John, I could have had Beatrix Potter-style Peter Rabbit wallpaper in my bedroom. I know this because the remains of it are still in the closet of what was my bedroom in my parent’s house.

When I was a little girl, I asked my mom why the pretty bunny wallpaper was in the closet and not in my room and she told me the story of how as a young mother, she scrimped and saved to buy the Peter Rabbit wallpaper for John’s nursery. And when she could finally afford it, she worked an entire day to hang it. Then she lovingly put her precious first-born child to sleep in his beautiful room with the Peter Rabbit wallpaper. But he later awoke from his slumber in a creative mood and decided to do little baby caveman poo poo drawings, defacing the very image of Peter Rabbbit. That was before the days of scrubbable wallpaper. And that was the end of the wallpaper. Thanks a lot John! Sometimes when I look at my own little boy, I see a lot of my brother John. And that terrifies me. And then I have to go lay down. With a martini.

I figure there were probably lots of cool things other than wallpaper I could have had if John hadn’t been born first, like seconds at the dinner table. But that is all water under the bridge. Today, on the occasion of your 50th birthday John, I forgive you for the Peter Rabbit wallpaper.

Happy Birthday Old Man!

Your Antique Sister

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