Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Making a Mountain Out Of a Molehill

Steven and I at his birthday party.

Last night on my bestest most absolute favoritest show, NCIS, our lab sweetheart Abby Sciutto discovered that she had a brother she didn’t know about.

 It was a great episode all around, but this interesting tidbit added to the little we know about Abby’s background, even after eight full seasons, made it even better. 

Playing checkers.
Anyway, as I was watching the show, wondering if Abby was thinking about the years she missed knowing her brother, it made me think of my own younger brother, Steven, and the last time I saw him, which was in the spring. It was such a sweet time, because I hadn’t seen him for just about an entire decade prior to that. He was living in a state too far away from me. And boy did I miss him!

Steven and I were close growing up, being that we came at the tail end of the five children my parents had. There was only a span of seven years between the oldest and youngest.

Trying to get a pic of me and
my brother after 10 yrs. Sheesh!

But it always seemed like there were two sets of children; the older three, and the younger two, because the older ones were all a year apart. Then there was a little over 2 years, and I came along, followed a little more than two years later by Steven.

So we were always fairly close growing up, and some of my best childhood memories involve him. Playing with trucks and cars in the dirt. Sitting in the hot dry grass on the hill in the summertime, just talking. Watching Captain Kangaroo together.

I'm about to deck him, lol.

And there was this place way in back of the yard, on the property line between our house and the one next to it. It was a somewhat raised ridge of earth, with trees and brush making it just wild enough for two young children to be enchanted with it.

We instantly dubbed it The Mountain, and would frequently make plans to play some game there, whispering, “Meet me at The Mountain.” Then we’d go to our rendezvous point and sit in the dirt talking and playing.

Steven and I played on The Mountain for years and years, eventually dwindling down to a few infrequent meetings for confidential talks about life. Ah, childhood had ended. Much later on in life, as an older teenager, I visited it alone, feeling nostalgic and maybe a little ambivalent about growing up.

And finally, a decent one.
And I discovered that The Mountain was no mountain at all, by any stretch of the word. It was simply a slight mound. In our young minds, this rounded lump of earth seemed huge, looming before us. And so did life. But we had each other, and we were so close, and we loved being together.

What a boon all that was toward building our relationship so that when we did get older, and the cares of adolescence were upon us, we could come together and talk about it all. Mostly just at home, or out wherever we happened to be at the time. And those few last times in our special secret play place in the woods. But then eventually, you do have to grow up and move on.

It’s just that sometimes, amidst the hustle and bustle of being a wife and mom to four, I wish for just time alone with my little brother, for some sharing and reminiscing. I long to go back to that simple and magical time, and hear Steven whisper to me, “Meet me at The Mountain.”

Uncle Steven goofing with his neices and nephews. :)


  1. My God, I miss him so....I loved him so much...I had read that blog post before. I love the pictures!! thank you, Valerie Jeanne....I love you......Love, your Mama

    1. I do too. I'm glad for the time we had together, and all the memories. I love you too Mom. <3