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Oh, why do they have to grow up?

When I was 13, I was blessed with a baby brother. Sure, some days I wasn’t too pleased as a teenager to be sharing a home with a “terrible two,” but just like a mother of a child, you grow to love this tiny little person so crazy-fierce. Which is often how I feel about my baby brother (and the sister who followed); as if I’m a second mother of sorts.

The reality of course is that I’m closer in spirit to a grandmother than a mother because, you the know the old saying, it was all fun and no responsibility. But regardless, when there is a gap of this great of years, you’ve been through it all with them — birth, diapers, childhood, adolescence, and now adulthood.

So you see, although he’s all grown up, I can still fly right into a “mamma bear” maelstrom of emotion. And I’ve been feeling a lot of emotion these days. Because of this:

April and Adham found me sprawled inside the wreckage with blood pouring out of my head and moaning unintelligibly. I must have momentarily lost motor abilities, as my attempts to get up pathetically failed. April says she’ll never get that image out of her head, and I don’t envy her the memory.

He and a group of travellers were just in a terrible accident in Laos. And thankfully, thankfully, thankfully he is okay. You can read the rest of his tale on his blog Adam in Asia.

Oh, these babies, why do they have to grow up?

Me, as a teenager, with my "babies."

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  1. God! That’s terrible! Thank goodness their o.k.:) I’m protective of my brother too, but I’m younger than him!
    But I tend to be very protective of people I care about.

  2. Hey Jules (mama bear). Thanks for the post – maybe when I return I’ll try to take advantage of your mama bear instincts and come over with a manufactured limp. That way I might be able to score some free beers! 😉

  3. hey julie..

    i also have a baby brother (9 years younger), and funny enough, he just returned from a 3 month backpacking adventure in Thailand. thank goodness your brother is ok. and mine.


  4. Pauline – It’s true! I get like that about my other brother too and he’s not even the “baby.” In fact, I almost got my nose broken once when I tried to take on a bully in grade school who was having a go at him. haha! He told that story at my wedding – loved it! :)

    Ads – Score free beer? Don’t you do that already? 😉 (ah, well, some price to pay for good company!)

    Sarah – Backpacking through Thailand sounds so amazing and I’m glad both of our brothers were able to experience such a beautiful place. I do want my “babies” (my real ones too!) to experience the world to its fullest and not live in fear. But some days you just want to put them back in the nest and keep them safe and sound!

  5. Goodness, Julie, what an upsetting situation. I’m glad it worked out in the end.

    I know exactly what you mean about the intermingling of feelings we have for our “babies” (whether our younger siblings or our own kids): we want to give them wings to fly, but wouldn’t mind if they kept a parachute on board!

  6. So glad he’s okay Julie. You must be somewhat relieved he’s alright, but I’m sure you’ll feel better when you can throw your arms around him someday soon.

    I also have a baby brother (well, only 4 years younger) who has been galavanting around the world for the last 10 years. He finally, finally got married and settled in the UK with his wife this very month.

    I think all his remote living in politically unstable areas (his work) has taken a toll on my parents.

    I’m savouring every moment I can keep my sons under my wing.

  7. Kathryn says:

    Yikes, glad all turned out well. My baby brother is 6 years younger…I hear ya.

  8. i love you jules!

  9. I’m so glad he is OK. It’s so scary to think of what can happen.

  10. Wendy B says:

    Hi Julie
    Just read your post about your baby brother. So glad everyone is okay.

  11. Many thanks to you all for the well wishes and for letting me share some thoughts with you. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been in regular touch with Adam and he is doing really well. :)

  12. Oh my Julie, what a terrible accident and glad that Adam is alright and doing great.

    I too am an older Sister to two younger siblings, the youngest being 14 years younger, so I know what it was like to be a teenager with a baby Sister. People always thought I was a teen mother :(

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