A Heartfelt Pin the Tail on the Donkey Story

They called us Pin the Tail on the Donkey.  My brother and me, that is.

He is three years older than I am and as far back as I can remember, I followed him EVERYWHERE.  Copied everything he did.  He was popular, good-looking, GREAT sense of humor, the athlete – while I was the geeky, straight-A student donning the large horn-rimmed, Coke-bottle thick eyeglasses.  He still is fit as a fiddle, thankfully.  The strength of his heart is actually what saved him in the ambulance this past Saturday.  And it got me thinking…

Growing up with an older brother meant that we did not have the opportunity to do a lot of extracurricular activities together.  Sports, camps, you name it.  I mean, let’s face it.  He’s a boy.  I’m a girl.  He certainly didn’t have any interest in ballet.  And nobody puts 9-year olds with 6-year olds in their soccer clinic, right?

Now don’t get me wrong – we were (and still are) very close.  We spent many hours in our finished basement playing, and competing.  We had some mean card games – our War matches were like marathons.  He always sunk my battleship.  Our ping pong tournaments were legendary – could have been in the video library of the Ping Pong Hall of Fame (is there one?).  And he teased me incessantly like all big brothers do.

Now I have the pleasure of witnessing my daughter relive a similar youth I had because she has a big brother – one to sink her battleships and torment her.  It’s funny actually.  I find that my childhood memories have become more vivid as I watch this big brother/little sister interplay in my home.  I have these flashbacks to my childhood that probably would have stayed buried in the recesses of my mind if it weren’t for this lucky twist of fate.  But in our home, my kids will only be one year apart in school.  So even at their young ages of almost 5- and 3-years, they have already shared some extracurricular activities – gymnastics, soccer, swimming, heck even story times.  It warms my heart to know that these two can share so much as they grow up in life.

Now back to that ambulance story I’m sure you’re wondering about.  I’m thrilled beyond words to say my brother came home from the hospital today – back home to his girls – heart rate steady at 60.  He’ll be back in action in no time – cycling, coaching his girls in soccer, teasing them incessantly.

And as far as that Pin the Tail on the Donkey moniker?  Back then we hated it; but looking back on it now, we laugh.  He always says, “What were you complaining about, I was the ass in that story!”  Too true, too true.  And I was one lucky tail.

Hey kids, anybody got a blindfold?  I got a great new game for ya.

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