In an earlier post Following My Brother Kevin Michael Junod I mentioned that my brother had left me up in the tree house once. I was too scared to climb down myself, fear of falling.
I found something yesterday that has prompted me to finally tell the story.
When I was little I followed my brother and his friend Paul around everywhere. At the time I didn't see anything wrong with it. Now I know it must have been such a drag to have your little sister with you. It must have been so uncool. When walking to school I was instructed to walk 12 sidewalk squares in front of him. I complied.
I was so excited one day when he agreed that I could play hide and seek with him and Paul...and I didn't have to be IT. So thrilled I darted off to find the best hiding spot I could. There I sat. And sat. I sat some more. I thought I must have really found a great spot. So I sat some more, snickering a bit at how long it was taking them to find me.
I am embarrassed to admit how long I sat there. Let's just say it was long enough to figure out I had been had. When I went home and asked my Mom where he was she said he had gone to the park with Paul. UGH!
One would think that having learned from that experience a young girl would wise up to her brother's games and stay alert for the next "punk". No...not this little girl.
I followed my brother and Paul up the fort stairs. It was quite a climb. It was cool up there. I imagined that they played Cowboys and Indians or maybe Cops and Robbers. I knew I'd have a lame part to play in the charaid but I didn't care. I was hanging out....in the fort...with my big brother.
It wasn't very long before it was too uncool for him to be with his kid sister. He told Paul that they were going to go somewhere else. The two of them climbed down. I called out to my brother to help me climb down.
"You'll be fine!", he said brushing me off with his hand.
"Maybe we should help her down", Paul said.
"No, she can get down." he insisted.
As they walked off Paul glanced over his shoulder at me as if he just knew there'd be repercussions. Perhaps there was maybe even a little empathy. All I know is that they ditched me...in the fort...knowing darn well that I couldn't climb down those stairs.
So...yes gang, you guessed it. I sat. Well, not before trying to figure it out myself. There was just something so very terrifying about turning around, grabbing on to that top step and maneuvering down the stairs. Remember that I've admitted before that I have the gracefulness of a sloth so just imagine.
I thought, "How long could he stay away knowing he's left me up here? He'll be back."
And......sat some more.
From my vantage point I could see into the kitchen window and see my Mom at the kitchen sink. It was nearly dusk when I saw my brother walk in the kitchen.
I imagine the conversation went something like this...
Mom: Where is your sister?
Kevin: I don't know...the last time I saw her she was up in the fort.
Mom: You haven't seen her since?
Kevin: No, she can't get down.
Mom: So you left her up there?!
That's when I saw my Mom turn and look out the window up at me, my chin resting on the side of the fort. Yep...it's me Mom. Still up here.
My Mom's head spun around so fast toward my brother. I'm glad that I didn't have to witness the piercing eyes as she must have told him with gritted teeth, "GO. GET. YOUR. SHISHDIR!" (sister spelled shisdir because it's the only way to say it with gritted teeth)
Fast forward many years later and imagine my surprise to happen on a photo of my brother standing in front of said fort. At first I was filled with glee to see my brother and the fort. Yea...good memories.
Then I really took a look at the fort. For real? The fort along with it's stairs that in my memory took hours to climb up and with such frightful heights was...5 feet off the ground? If that much...really. Really?
I would've left me up there too!