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February 28th, 2008

Overdue Apologies (Part II)

To my brother Louie:

Please understand: sometimes, when they are five, older siblings just need to experiment with how far they can stretch their power. It does not reflect how much love or respect they may have for their younger siblings. It is purely a matter of wanting to see how their cunning and brute strength compares.

Admittedly, sometimes older siblings are already well aware of how much more powerful they are. Further exercising of said power, especially over a three-year old, is just mean.

I am sure you recall the tale of The Blame And The Bath Water, in which I totally sold you out to mom for having dumped a huge cup of gross, tepid bath water on the already mildew-ridden bathroom floor.

You were just sitting there in the bathtub, finishing up whatever war you’d set up between different factions of Happy Meal toys, and I was standing with my back to the space heater in my towel, shivering. A lot of that evening is a blur of guilt, but I do remember that you looked happy playing in the water, lips blue, curly hair wet and disheveled. So happy, in fact, that I had to ruin it.

“Louie,” I most likely said. “Fill that cup up with water and dump it on the floor.” I was smooth, sly, convincing. You were naive, happy-go-lucky, easily convinced. You trusted me, your older sister, to teach you to do cool stuff and to invite you to partake only in safe activities. After all, I had taught you how to put on killer performances in the living room. I had taught you how to chew wads of Big League Chew so you could look like a manly, nicotine-addicted baseball player with your friends. I had taught you how to expertly skip from couch cushion to couch cushion, avoiding crocodiles, quick sand, lava, and other hazards. So why should you be suspicious of this new activity?

You happily grabbed the cup floating next to you, scooped up some gray water, and brought it to the edge of the tub. “Come on. Do it,” I urged. So you did.

The next thing I did was go to the door and yell, “MOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM!!!! LOUIE DUMPED WATER ALL OVER THE FLOOR!!!!!!!!!!!”

Mom came running up, and scolded you. I’m sure it wasn’t a severe scolding, but right now I am remembering it as though she screamed at you for hours. I do remember you trying to explain what had happened. “Lizzy said to! Lizzy said to!” but I somehow managed to beat the system and get off totally unscolded, smugly smiling all the while.

So, Louie. I am sorry. For the bathwater incident, and for any other time I manipulated you into doing my bidding. And while I know all those wrestling lessons I gave you on the front lawn can never make up fully for all the times I was crappy to you, I certainly hope they help.

1 comment to Overdue Apologies (Part II)

  • Brian

    That is a wonderful story, and I think that picture both sums up the situation you described and accurately caricatures your modern personalities.

    WE NEED TO HANG OUT SOON OR I WILL DIE. So make that happen.

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