Guilt Trippin’

It was my first day of Nursery school in June 1994. I was three, and my brother had just made his loud entrance into this world (bawling, I assume) about a month earlier. I remember tiny little me, in my school uniform, wearing white socks with lace tops and black patent leather Mary Janes. I don’t remember when this photo was taken, or who took it, but I do remember wearing that uniform and making my excited little way to school. I loved those shoes.

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1994 – when my ears were still disproportionately large, and I was still adorable. I turned out alright.

While I was very excited about school, I felt less enthusiasm about having a little brother. Like many older siblings, I wasn’t sure how to take this tiny red-faced ball who had suddenly manifested in my life. I think it’s rather telling that I have no memories of my Mom’s pregnancy, but I have memories of trying to discreetly poke his nose when he was sleeping so he would cry. I was rather mean towards him for a couple of years, but I eventually grew out of it. I love him to pieces – I would sacrifice my life for that boy, if the situation called for it. And I also still think about him as being permanently twelve or thirteen. It does not help that my “little” boy is actually 20 now. *wails*

Anyhow, it was the first day of school, a hot and humid June day. I was so happy to be going to school, so I was leading the way and pulling hard at my Mommy’s hand. The sidewalk leading to my school was gravelly, on a downwards slope. Mom had my baby brother in a carrier on her chest. I didn’t quite understand what this meant in terms of safety, so I just kept tugging at my Mom’s head, insistent on hurrying towards where I knew my playmates would be. I was used to having (most) of my whims being catered to, because up until my brother showed up I was the only child, and the first grandchild on my Dad’s side of the family. I may or may not have been spoiled a little bit. But cut me some slack, it was the first day of school! New crayons! Pencils! Packed lunch! Notebooks! HOMEWORK!

But in my enthusiasm, I totally forgot that my brother’s weight on my Mom’s chest would have made her rather wobbly. I tugged too hard, and boom! Mom tripped. I remember her on her hands and knees, motionless for long seconds. I’m willing to bet that her desire to strangle me was rather strong in those moments. I also remember my brother’s head precariously close to the rocky pavement. If she hadn’t caught herself on her hands and knees, my brother’s head would have been dashed onto the rocks at the tender age of a month. It was a good thing she tripped right in front of a convenience store, so we went in to buy something to disinfect the giant scratches on her knees (Green Cross rubbing alcohol, anyone?). The guilt when I realized I could have killed my baby brother was.. immense. I still carry that around today.

And that, my friends, is my first memory. What’s yours?

2 thoughts on “Guilt Trippin’

  1. dear nadjie,

    i will write about my first memory some other time (it was my third birthday. a picture exists. i looked cute too. haha). what i really want to tell you today though is that i can relate to this post. i didn’t get along with my brother for a very VERY long time. i was an only child for 12 years. the mean-bordering-on-evil things i did to my brother… *shudder*

    but now, i love him to pieces. he’s the one person i am sure of i love in this world.

    i also have a very negative experience with my little bro when he was a toddler, and an ugly scar on his forehead reminds me every time. when he was still too young to walk, i took my little brother on a walk through our subdivision; him in his stroller. on our way home, i pushed the stroller, letting it go for a bit unattended. he loved the sudden spurt of speed. i repeated it. he loved it! then i did it a little bit too forcefully. he went and went and laughed and laughed but then the stroller fell over, with him in it, face front. shock. the world stood still. then crying. me running. his forehead bleeding. me wanting to die at that moment, fearing my mother. luckily, he was alright, and my mom was surprisingly lax on me. (now being years wiser, i’d rather have taking him to the doctor and have his head checked whether he suffered some kind of a concussion but oh well. he seems alright now).

    i also feel guilty. but all is well. i think we are making up for our silly mistakes back then. 🙂

    1. “he’s the one person i am sure of i love in this world.”

      Same here. I would do anything for that boy. Part of it is trying to make up for being a really crappy older sister, but most of it is that I don’t want to see him get hurt if I could have done something to prevent it. Luckily, my brother wants to fights his own battles, and he fights them with conviction. So he’s not spoiled. Gin-warn ko sang isa namon ka cousin na basi juno maspoil ko siya, but they don’t know him like I do. The situation was na ginbaklan ko sya bag-o na iPod touch Christmas of 2010 (my first big purchase, actually hahaha). He never asked for it, though. That’s the thing about him, he doesn’t *ask* for things.

      I am very proud of the man that he is growing up to be, because he is one of only a few people I know who are genuinely good. The thing is, nobody really knows this because he has a very stony exterior. I could go on for pages and pages about him hahaha

      Little brother love, huh? *hugs*

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