He looked at me. I knew he had it.
“Give it back to me!” I held my hand out, expecting him to place my Barbie on my extended palm.
He held my Barbie closer to him, “Make me”
I was sick of it.
I was sick of my eldest brother taking my dolls and decapitating them or drawing on them or checking to see how far they could fly.
He left me no choice but to tell on him.
Being a ‘rat’ in our house was a very serious crime, but he took my Malibu Barbie ; I was petrified he’d cut her hair or worse …tie his Action-man parachute to her and see if she could fly out the attic window , only for her to be lost in the wilderness of our neighbours back garden.
Yes; he liked to use that parachute for many of my toys, never his, not even for his Action-man who the bloody parachute belonged to!
I got my Barbie back with help from our dad and he got sent to his room.
Later he wrote me a note and slide it under my door.
My heart melted when I saw his note. I felt guilty for getting him into trouble.
For all his devilment, he was extremely forgiving and affectionate.
He never held a grudge; even though I may have given him plenty of reasons to throughout our childhood.
I opened my door. He was standing outside, his head down. “I’m sorry Germac”
He had a way about him. He still does.
Despite who may or may not have been in the wrong; I always always apologised to him, out of my three brothers and three sisters; he was and still is, the most forgiving and accepting.
“I am sorry too O. I am sorry I told on ya” I hugged him.
“It’s ok, you’re a rat. It’s not your fault” he covered his mouth, his eyes dancing as he tried to stifle his laughter.
“Oi!” I laughed too and ruffled his hair.
It was in that moment that I felt, perhaps I was too old for Barbies and maybe just maybe seeing if Barbie could fly would be fun.
(We took a different Barbie, I wasn’t sure using my Malibu Barbie was a good idea after such a serious decision, I felt there was no need to rush things)
We climbed the narrow stairs up to his room (aka the boys den), the newly converted attic.
We opened the attic window and we checked to see if Action-man’s parachute could help Barbie fly. It could not folks, and she landed in the gutter.
“Don’t tell dad” I whispered as I decided we needed our brother’s help, nicknamed ‘Action Jackson’ for good reason.
But O had other plans.
“Dad! Dad! Dad! Germac did it!” He roared.
”Gotcha “he laughed as we could hear our dad coming up the first flight of stairs.
“Clever little sh*te” I sighed.
And so I spent the rest of my evening in my room.
The next morning there was a note outside my room, written in O’s handwriting.
When O left notes, it was up to us to decipher them, which was easier to do, the younger he was.
The older he got, it became a tense situation.
He would stand beside you and make you read it to the room and if you didn’t read what it said correctly; he would call you names, all sorts of names and try and explain to you everything you did wrong.
He was a moody teenager, so those notes were always moody but always ended with “love O”.
“Did you get your note?” Dad asked me. “He was writing that for ages!”
“We reckon it’s a confession. He has told me he helped you throw your sister’s Barbie out the window. Why didn’t you throw your own out?”
My father shook his head. “When she finds out about that, you know she is going to break something of yours and I don’t want to hear one word about it”
I couldn’t risk one of my own Barbies to check if I was ready to say goodbye to my Barbies, so I did the sensible thing and took my sisters.
She was almost two years older than me and had not even looked at her Barbies in at least a year, I felt pretty sure she wouldn’t care.
“Thanks for your note O” I smiled as he coloured in his book.
“It’s ok. We are even now. No more squealing or I’m telling Puds” (Puds was the nickname for my sister whose Barbie got stuck in the gutter)
“Squealing!” I laughed.
“Yes. Ratting. Squealing. It’s all in there. Read it” he pointed at his note.
I nodded and pretended to read it.
“Friends?” He reached out for my hand.
I smiled. He was as cute as a fox as my parents would often say.
“Friends” I shook his hand. “Can I colour?” I asked.
“No way. Just me now” he continued to colour, ever so carefully.
My brother turns 42 later this year.
He is still as mischievous as ever and never misses a chance to give me a hug while telling me everything I’ve done wrong since he last saw me.
He is bossy.
He is a messer.
He is grumpy.
He is a dancer.
He is creative.
He is a singer.
He is a son.
He is a nephew.
He is a cousin to many!
He is a big brother to six.
He is an uncle.
He is O.
And he happens to have an extra chromosome.
This was originally published on FireFlyFriends in honour of Down Syndrome Awareness Month.