Before the story our family dynamic needs an explanation.

My family had two sets of kids. There were the older kids from Mom’s previous marriage and the younger duo from the second, all brought up as one unit. It was stated to me many, many, many times that I ruined my older sibs lives when I entered the world. Because I was six years younger than the next oldest, it was common practice for them to order me about as if I were indentured. “Kathy! Get me my brush!” “Kathy! Change the channel!” “Make me a sandwich!” “Get me my science book!” Never a “please” or “thank you”. I accepted this situation. Didn’t know any different.

But I did know April Fool’s Day.

It was 1960. Mom and Dad and my older sister were off to work, the youngest was already en route to her school. There were just my brother and I in the house. He was a senior and I was in sixth grade, still in elementary school and thus started an hour earlier than he.

I had this planned out since I woke up. Put my books just outside the back door. Had a sweater on. The bread was already in the toaster.

True to habit, he came down stairs just prior to my leaving, started with the orders. “Make me some toast!” Dutifully, I pushed the lever on the toaster, pulled the peanut butter and jelly from the shelf and waited for the toast to pop up. I spread an ample amount of each on the warm toast, turning the peanut butter into a shiny ganache with swirls of sweet sticky strawberry jam and placed it on the table. I adored my brother.

“Pour me a glass of milk!” I picked up the glass that I had already placed next to the refrigerator, opened the door, stood on tiptoes and reached waaay in the back of the top shelf for the milk that my mother had been saving for sour milk cookies. A smile came to my face as I poured him his nice cold glass of milk.

Do you know how a teenage boy drinks his milk? He pours it down his throat in huge gulps.

I handed him the glass as I headed for the door waiting just long enough to see his face with the realization of what he just put in his mouth and purse his lips spraying the milk out of his mouth and all over the kitchen. As the screen door slammed, I heard “I’ll kill you, you little snot!”

I laughed all the way to school. My only wish in all these years is that I had a witness. Though, he loves me now but whenever he introduces me to someone, the story gets told.

You might be at home, but you are not alone.

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