I have four brothers. Two older two younger. And we all are named John. Well, three of us have John as our first name and two have John as their middle name. I am John Patrick. Something about growing up with just boys makes you part of a tribe...the other four might think of us as a team but I was more of a tribe kind of brother. There are things that we are all exactly alike in, we are all pretty funny, we all look a lot a like...well not Christopher John, he looks like my mom, and we all married girls that are far prettier then we are. (This trick is my finest parenting advice that I will bestow on my son, Funny Guy = Hot Wife. It's true, watch ANY sitcom.)
We are all very different too, John Casey, the youngest, always had a safe with a key that he would keep his treasures in, no one else had that (once, when he was 8 years old, my mom paid him $10.00 to look inside his safe, I didn't have $10.00 so I never got see what was in there.).
There were lots of labels that characterized us boys when we were young, Michael John was the bully, John Spencer was the one who could protect you from Mike, I was the Drama geek, Christopher John was the football star, and John Casey was the youngest...with that safe.
We also came in sets. Mike and Spence were the 'Big Boys' and the rest of us were the 'Little Boys'. In the summers the Big Boys would go up to Rupert Idaho and spend a week with my Grandparents farm and then the next week the Little Boys would swap them out.
I always loved growing up in this family and as we've gotten older I have loved it even more. We are a family who loves to laugh. My Mom and Dad are both very funny people on their own and are a funny comedy duo when they are together. Sunday dinners at my house are like a 1940's writers room, with out the smoke and gin. One brother will make some joke and it will be pretty funny, but then another brother will jump in with a slightly altered version of the other brothers joke and that will be even funnier and then two other brothers (usually Chris and Casey) will start batting the joke back and forth upping the stakes with every pass until they've polished the joke into a perfect sphere of hilarity that will have the whole family rolling...which makes some other brother to make a new joke. It's perfect...not for everyone, but for me it's perfect.
When we were young the Little Brothers would fall asleep to this tape my Gramma gave us. We later (much later) found it and all five (over 20 years old) brothers would act out the poems for each others enjoyment.
Well some of the poems would cause you to pull the covers up to your chin and wait this one out. The video above is of the scariest one and for some reason it would get me real nervous at night alone in my bed. I think because there was a possibility that I could go away, chasing a dream and then never come back. And no one would ever know what happened to me.
And that terrified me. But then I would think of my tribe back at home suiting up to come rescue me, and I knew, no kid with 4 Brothers could ever get too lost. And, after 28 years of there being 5 of us...no one ever has.