B is for Brothers.
I happen to have four. (two are shown in the left photo, the 3rd and 5th children in our family, and number 3's wife). They are all younger than I, and our ages in order are 31, 30, 29, 27 and 25. My mother has a special seat in heaven. There's actually a humorous story about how all those brothers came about, but some things aren't meant to be shared on these internets.
When my mom was pregnant with my youngest brother, I held a secret hope in my heart that she was going to give me a sister. Who needed another brother after all, we had plenty of them already. If she really loved me, I'd get a little sister to play with. One that could share my room (everyone else got to share a room with someone) and my secrets. A sister that would play dolls and barbie and all that stuff that brothers do sometimes, but only under duress.
Then one day Grandma and Grandpa came to stay with us. I don't remember my mother leaving, but she had gone to the hospital. My father came home later and told us that we had a new baby brother to love. I glared at him, went to my room, slammed my door and cried my heart out. My grandmother, thinking that I just missed my mom, tried everything she could to comfort me, but there was none of that to be had.
They wouldn't let us go visit her in the hospital, being small children and all. Back then they had a theory that small children spread germs and therefore weren't allowed. My mom was gone for a few days or so (again, no memory of this, my Grandmother must've stayed with us) and then one day she came home with a new baby. Another brother. One more boy to even out their numbers. Another blue wearing, toy gun toting, G.I. Joe loving boy. The thought was more than I could bear.
I didn't speak to my mother for 2 weeks. In my little 6 year old mind, it was her fault I didn't have a sister. Not realizing that she had no control in the matter, I reasoned that she must like boys more than girls. Why else would she have so many?
I spent my whole life outnumbered. Because their were so many of them, they fought amongst themselves. I was never ganged up on, nor did I bear the brunt of all their taunting. I'm not sure if this was because I was older, or what. I did catch a lot of hell for things that they did, being the oldest, and frequently "in charge." Our family put the 'fun' in dysfunctional.. but boy did we have some good laughs.
We see each other, as a whole group a few times a year and are starting to go our separate ways. 2 of us are married. One of us is getting ready to move out west. Another is involved in what has been a long term relationship with someone that is so bad for him that it sticks out to everyone else but him like a sore thumb. He's slowly coming around though and we have renewed hope for him. Who says you can't go home?