November 2, 2008

On Brothers

Girls who grow up with an older brother are slighty different from girls who are first borns or who have older sisters. I grew up with an older brother, and it shaped me…my heart still goes BOOM-pat at the thought of Conan the Barbarian head-lopping his way across a bloody battlefield.

My Barbie never got into the suave and metro Ken. She preferred to mack on my brother’s GI Joe. In fact,she often kicked off her platform sandals and teamed up with Joe for rousing adventures. My brother plotted these escapades, so it was all about BIG GUNS, and that is in no way a metaphor.

The stories began and ended with Barbie and Joe platonically blowing the CRAP out of bad guys. The ROMANCE happened LATER, when Bobby had gone off with his friends. That was when I STOLE GI Joe out of Bobby’s Action Figure Foot Locker Storage Unit and staged hasty, lavish, illicit and sparkly pink marriage ceremonies. They featured hyperbolic VOWS and plastic kissing.

Girls my age ALL collected SMURF action figures. However, only MY Smurfs were battle scarred. Many had suffered limb loss and horrible melting deformities from all the fireworks wars my Smurfs fought against the shell casings of the locusts that appeared abandoned on the tree trunks and the lawn every springtime.

Now I am raising a daughter who came along five years after my boy child…and her childhood is like mine in a lot of ways:


Here you see Princess Tinker Fett, elite fairy assassin and laser-magic expert. This is the WEIRDEST Star-Wars/Disney Cross over since Darth Vader put on a lion mask and leaned out of the stars to say USE THE FORCE, SIMBA. (Though how on EARTH a SITH LORD got so careless as to allow wildebeests to smash him in the FIRST place, I will never know.)

That’s the ring leader in the background at the piano. FOR THE RECORD, Sam is doing an AWESOME job with his piano lessons. I was only going to get them for the musically inclined Maisy, who wanders the house singing her woes and triumphs ala Les Miserables all the day, and in perfect pitch, too. But Sam wanted to take lessons, so I got him some, and he is REALLY keeping up with practices, has burned through three books and can play several songs from memory.

Perhaps he is secretly musically inclined? Or perhaps it is that his piano teacher is young and sweet and lovely and blonde. Whatever his motives, the kid is learning some piano, and I am right proud.

Posted by joshilyn at November 2, 2008 1:29 PM

Oh YAY for Princess Tinker Fett! It's always nice to have someone ride to the rescue and clean up all the dirty parts, but hey, a girl's gotta be able to zap the bad guys with the best of 'em!

And congratulations on having two musically inclined children! We love music in our household, but not one of us can make it, except for playing a mean iPod or radio. We all sing, you understand, but even the pets wander away in sighing resignation when we do. Bah. We have fun.

But to be able to actually do it well, as Sam and Maisie do? That would be priceless beyond rubies! And kinder to other creatures' ears, come to that.

Posted by: Fran at November 2, 2008 1:54 PM

I'm thinking every young girl should have a big brother.

Posted by: Travis Erwin at November 2, 2008 2:00 PM

How in the heck do you manage to get any writing written, any work worked? Do you have magical creatures (Tinker Fett perhaps?) who stop time so you can have seven semi-sane minutes to blast out seven chapters? Yikes. You are mighty awesome. And not so bad with a magic wand yourself, I bet.

Posted by: Penny at November 2, 2008 2:11 PM

I have three daughters so one of them had to play the "brother role". That one was my middle child. Her barbies all had very short hair and were forever jumping off the top of the bunk beds or the refrigerator or some other high place and leaping onto her sisters' dolls. Her barbies did not want ken. He was too wimpy to keep up. Her barbies went on "missions" and did things. They had much more interesting lives than we did.

Posted by: donna lee at November 2, 2008 4:07 PM

Both of my children (10 and 7, girl and boy) thought that picture was hilarious. It stopped them dead in their tracks as they trooped past me.

Posted by: Roxanne at November 2, 2008 7:23 PM

Princess Tinker Fett rules! (the boys had one suggestion, boots are better for kicking butt)

Posted by: Patti at November 2, 2008 11:00 PM

Drat! If only I'd known before Halloween, I could have dressed up as Tinker Fett!

Posted by: Marleigh at November 3, 2008 7:15 AM

Oh, my gosh, I loved this so much I e-mailed it to my husband (who still knows Maisy as the girl who gave the "he fought and fought...and FOUGHT AND FOUGHT AND FOUGHT until he could fight NO MORE!" speech/prayer at Thanksgiving).

Posted by: Casey at November 3, 2008 7:47 AM

I hear ya. All my Barbies had their fingers chewed off. And my brother and I played so rough that my mom finally had to tell him that the next time he caused me to have stitches, he was going to get the same number in the same place. Whether he needed them or not.

Posted by: Leandra at November 3, 2008 9:14 AM

We here in the house of all Fett no Tinker salute you. And are jealous. ;)

Posted by: Amy-Go at November 3, 2008 9:59 AM

That is perfect! Just perfect! I wanna be Tinker Fett next Halloween!

Posted by: kathy at November 3, 2008 10:20 AM

Hey Maisy, you go girl! That is the most awesome costume I've ever seen!

Posted by: JenniferG at November 3, 2008 10:25 AM

Princess Tinker Fett is the AWESOME. I love that costume.

Posted by: Aimee at November 3, 2008 11:34 AM

No fashion faux pas, Missy Maisy has it all on an even keel and in perfect pitch.

Posted by: Cele at November 3, 2008 12:05 PM

Oh my gosh I love maisy....I can't stop laughing.

Posted by: Lia at November 3, 2008 3:26 PM

Best. Costume. Ever!

At my son's birthday party they had paper Darth Vader masks and one "friend who is a girl but not a girlfriend" wore hers with a big purple bow on top :)

Posted by: Laura L at November 3, 2008 4:36 PM

Ah, see, she IS a real princess!

Posted by: Brigitte at November 4, 2008 5:11 AM

Princess Tinker Fett rocks the house! My two-year-old princess was so happy to grab her brother's Clone Trooper blaster and run around the house "pew pew pew"-ing laser destruction in all directions. It just warms the heart, doesn't it?

Posted by: MelissaC at November 4, 2008 5:10 PM