Our castle and our keep

black and white, two children aged 5 and 3 standing by letterbox outside a typical New Zealand house of the 1960s.

Big sister, little brother. Image: Leslie family archive.

I have two brothers; one two years younger than me, the other eight years.

My relationship with “the baby of the family” is strong, loving and straightforward. With my other brother, it’s more complicated.

As kids we were constant playmates, best friends. We share the same sense of humour and listened to the same music. But my mum was never good at hiding the fact she valued sons more highly than daughters (possibly because she’s the fourth sister of five) and as “The Firstborn Son” my brother was indulged to the point of becoming, for a while, a horrible little brat.

We’re in our fifties now, and the tide of our relationship has ebbed and flowed, washing away all but the bedrock. He’s my brother and I love him.

For a long time, music was a powerful bond between us, and since I am participating in Sarah’s 30 Days, 30 Songs project, I thought I’d sneak a bonus track into today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt | sibling.

In many ways, the best time for us as brother and sister was in the early 1980s, and there are so many songs from that time I could have chosen.

But this one’s fun, and it is about family.

The title of the post comes from the line:

Our house, was our castle and our keep
Our house, in the middle of our street


Down to the wire

The boy-child's wishes book - or at least bits of it! Photo: Su Leslie 2014

The boy-child’s wishes book – or at least bits of it! Photo: Su Leslie 2014

It’s a good thing I work well under pressure. The boy-child’s birthday is tomorrow and I’m still working on the wishes book. Have wine, chocolate,  a sharp craft knife …

Photo: Su Leslie 2014

Photo: Su Leslie 2014

… and music.

I’ve finished counting down to my son’s sixteenth birthday. Tomorrow he can leave school, leave home, learn to drive, have sex, get a tattoo or live with a partner.

However, it’s more likely that he’ll forget to set his alarm, get up late but still take an extremely long shower, forget his lunch, need a ride to the bus stop and send me a text wishing me a good day. Because, it may be his birthday, but he’s still my boy.