I remember well when my rusty old swing in the back was traded in and in its place, a fancy and shiny blue swing-set with bold white stripes candy-caned around the legs of the set, with a few real swings, and a little swinging carriage for two.
It was an awesome sight, but an unwelcome acknowledgement that it was not mine. It was ours, purchased to share with my siblings. This translated in my ears to ‘no longer important’. It was really them who had gained importance, them for whom the swing was bought.
I can’t explain sibling resentment. Where did it ferment, and how and why? I only know that it did. I know that swing-set was a turning point, an awareness of competition for a shared outdoor space that I had previously manned alone.
Looking at a set of photos snapped during a christmas-present-opening affair, I see the resentment.
I wear it in my posture, ooze it from my expression, project it from my eyes, as I hold my Fisher Price schoolhouse, with magnet letters and little peoples; likely comparing it to the shiny twin tricycles that my siblings are excitedly mounting alongside me.
The irony is that there is another picture of Sis and Bro on their trikes, with me alongside them, all dressed in winter gear, and I’m mounted on a lovely blue bike with lovely long chrome handlebars and a beautiful white banana seat.
Did I acquire that just after the first picture, or was it acquired during the year, likely for a birthday and posed months later? I couldn’t resist, I went back and looked at that picture and notice that my hairstyle is drastically different and I look a bit older. I would say that it was the next fall/winter when the picture was taken, meaning that the bicycle was likely a birthday present from late summer.
It truly does not matter. The fact is, I did not like sharing. My time. My space. My toys. My parents. My yard, my house, mine, mine, mine. I did not like them, can’t make me, I don’t!
I’m really just guessing that’s how it was, I really don’t recall. That’s what the picture tells me – the one with the Fisher Price schoolhouse.
Honestly? I do not remember the occasion at all. What I recall from the picture is the cardboard fireplace, propped against the wall to hang socks from, to resemble an apparatus an expected jolly fat man might come through.
The humor in that does not escape me.