Friday, April 8, 2011

My Brother Dan's Birthday!

Dan is the 6th of seven Jones children and the 4th of five boys.  His arrival coincided with my own desires to "mother" a younger sibling.  I was ten years old.

Depending on your point of view, my mother did a very smart thing.  Dan was due to be born close to my April 1st birthday.  During her pregnancy, my mother told me that I could expect a "birthday present" to be born very close to my birthday. Dan's birthday is a week after mine.

I actually believed, on some level, that he was MINE.  From the very beginning, it was my job to feed him his bottle while Mom made dinner.  Changing diapers was the norm.  But please don't think for one minute that I felt like Dan was a burden.  I couldn't get enough of him.  For the life of me I couldn't understand why other girls my age loved to play with dolls.  What was attractive about a doll?  Dolls don't laugh at you, respond to you, hug you and cuddle.  Dan did all of these things.

Like all of the "little kids" in my family, Dan doesn't think there are many pictures of him as a baby.  The truth is that I have many pictures -- mostly of poor quality.  (I'll bet as Dan reads this that he wishes I actually had fewer pictures).  Looking at the picture of Dan being bathed in the kitchen sink, I wonder how many other families of that era did the same?  How long has it been a "requirement" that we all have special plastic bath tubs for our newborns?

This is one of my favorite pictures of Dan sitting with Tim in front of the fireplace, but what did they see?  I don't see a fire.  Given Dan's age in the picture, this had to be taken shortly after we moved to Pleasant Ridge for a bigger home.  Our previous home didn't have a fireplace -- maybe Tim was dreaming of fires yet to be built.

When I was in high school, I played the cello for a couple of years in the school orchestra.  My sister, Karen, is in the background.  What is curious, however, is that the house pictured across the street is the same house I ended up buying about 25 years later as a single Mom of a six-year old girl.  Tim and his wife bought our childhood home.  Who could have guessed we'd be neighbors as adults?

When Dan was about three years old, the family took a vacation to visit my mother's best friend, Mary Davis Crowell, who lived on an apple orchard in Carbondale, Illinois.  All of us had the chance to ride their horses -- an experience I will never forget. One of the Crowell's neighbors is holding the horse.  Dan and Ted are sitting on the horse and Karen is in the background.

Pictured below are the 8 of us packing up to drive the 350 miles to Carbondale for our vacation.  I can't even imagine. (Tim called to tell me that he is holding his transistor radio in this picture.  He gave me enough information for a whole separate post).

When Dan got married to his lovely wife, Carol, I told her that Dan would forever be "mine".  When Mom was pregnant with Don, my grandmother said that as soon as Don was born, Dan would no longer hold such a special place for me.  She was wrong.  Although I was thrilled to have Don come on the scene, he was not my birthday present.  (Did I just type that)?

So -- note to Dan -- I have many more pictures I couldn't put in this post.  Here is a link to a photoshow that has many more of them.  Hope your birthday is a happy one as you anticipate your next set of grandchildren -- twin girls at that!

1 comment:

  1. jeanne Scardina VeenemanApril 8, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Wow, loved this! What a special birthday gift.Your a great sister, I'm sure they all appreciate your hard work!I so enjoy reading and viewing all your blog info!


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