Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Love Letter of Sorts

So we've returned from visiting my brother's family in Baraboo, and that visit got me thinking about Kyle & me as kids.  Our parents separated when I was in third grade and Kyle in first.  We moved with our mom back to the town where she had grown up and started a life, just the three of us.
It wasn't easy.  Mom got married at 19, had me just shy of her 20th birthday and then Kyle came along two years later.  She never had a chance to experience life as a grownup before getting married, and once she and my dad split, she was suddenly the main caregiver and provider of two young children.  Luckily, she was able to go to work for her dad as a secretary, and my grandparents always made sure Kyle and I were taken care of when the week lasted longer than Mom's paycheck.

Kyle and I didn't get along too well; I remember our childhood differently from him, though I guess that's to be expected.  We fought -- a lot.  Looking back as an adult, I'm guessing we did that as attention-seeking behavior.  If we were fighting, SOMEONE was paying attention to us, even if it wasn't positive attention.  I remember Kyle as being an annoying little brother, always picking on me in just the right places and times to make me cry.  I'm sure he remembers me as an overbearing and bossy big sister who overreacted to every tiny thing.  We're probably both right and both wrong.  I can admit I wasn't a perfect child.

Now that I'm an adult, I can appreciate how much we went through together as kids.  We're both parents now, and over the past eleven or so years since Molly was born and Kyle and Kris moved to Wisconsin for Kris's surgical practice, we've grown much closer.  I appreciate his wicked sense of humor and his ability to tell a great story.  I love how great he is with kids, both his and mine, and how both he and Kris welcome us anytime we decide we need to escape the city and head to the calm quiet of the Wisconsin countryside.  I love that we're making new traditions with our kids and that we can share some of the things we loved growing up with them.

I'm one lucky big sister.

(Sorry, Kyle, couldn't resist using this one!)


  1. Childhood is so short and memories are not always exactly "correct." But adult life lasts for a long time (if we're lucky). It sounds like you have figured out how to get along, appreciate each other, and "be" a family for the long haul. That is what matters most-- the "now."

  2. What a poignant post. I have 6 sisters and our memories are all a bit different. We've stopped jockeying for position as adults and can truly appreciate one another these days. I'm grateful for their friendship.

  3. It is so awesome to really think about how much siblings matter to us. I think we all had less stellar relationships as children. I think it is so great that you can really admire your brother's strengths now. Love those great pictures!

  4. What a sweet 'love letter' of course, Mindi. I think we all grew up having our own 'stories', even brothers and sisters. I love my 'little' brother but he's 7 years younger & I thought he was a big pain for a long while. Now, we live far apart, & I miss seeing him, but luckily we do talk often. I love that you & your brother have a second chance to really know each other since you now live closer to each other.

  5. Kyle and I love having you. The only problem is that you don't come more often...move closer!