That wasn't unusual. My Mom always called to check on me. Always.
Except this call was different. My Mom never could wait to tell a secret or give some news and what she had to tell me was BIG NEWS.
"I'm going to have a baby, Deidre".
What? How can that be? I'm FOURTEEN!! Todd is SEVENTEEN!!
I was in absolute shock!
The next several months were .... let's just say .... interesting. Apparently, having two teenagers in the house and being 38 and pregnant is a little emotional for some people. My Mom was all over the place.
But, one thing was certain. A baby was coming and our lives would be turned upside down (for the good) forever.
Cathy and I walked off the school bus on April 18th, 1984 (please tell me why I was still riding a schoolbus when MY OLDER BROTHER HAD HIS LICENSE??) and went to my house. My Dad had left a note stuck to the door that said "Gone to have baby".
It seemed like only seconds later, Dad came speeding up the driveway to pick us up to go to the hospital. John Patrick was here!
I was immediately in love with him. He became my babydoll. I dressed him up, strolled him around and acted like he was my child. (Todd even took him for Show and Tell in Spanish class his senoir year.)
The only time I didn't particularly care for him was when he cried during the night? What was that about? He was Mom's baby, then :)
Once I got my license, the real fun began. I would put him in his carseat and take him around town. I sat through opening night of every Ghostbuster, Ninja Turtle and Jim Carrey movie. I loooooved being with him.
When Eric and I married, John Patrick was twelve. Too old to be a ring bearer and too young to be a groomsmen, I gave him a special job. Instead of having a maid or matron of honor, I had a MAN of Honor. A job he took very seriously :)
Then, something odd happened.
John Patrick grew up.
Our conversations became less about childish things and he was suddenly this intelligent, insightful person that sees the best in everyone. He befriended people that were outcasts and judged by many. He never did. He's incredibly accepting.
I've always had a hard time stepping out of a 'mother' role where he's concerned, but in the end, he is my friend. Someone I trust and admire.
So, what's my fascination? Why do people have a hard time understanding my attachment? Why do I make such a fuss over being apart? What's the big deal? What's the reason for my immense happiness, yet sadness that he's leaving for Hawaii, where he'll be stationed for three years?
Well, he's my brother, that's all. A part of me. One of the best (equal to only one other ~ my brother, Todd).
And, he's going places. Exceling in everything he's encountering ... not taking the easy road or just skating by. He's working hard to do something substantial, something he can be proud of.
He's my brother.
And that's reason enough.