Wednesday, November 12, 2014

52 Weeks of Sharing Our Memories - Brothers and Sisters

This post is part of the 52 Weeks of Writing our Memories by Lorine McGinnis Schulze at Olive Tree Genealogy who has challenged us to write our memories for our future generations.

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm the first of five kids. I guess sometimes I felt like I was the boss (and still do) because I was the oldest. Although, I think my oldest brother and I sometimes jostle for the role of family boss. My siblings and I were born about two years apart, on average. My mom says she had babies in diapers for ten years.

Here I am as an only child. My only child status lasted 15 months.

And then there were two. Here I am with my brother Andy. It was just the two of us for over two years.

Then it starts to get crowded. Here comes number three. Andy and I are looking at our new baby brother John, held by our great aunt Edwina Roberts at the J.T. Roberts house in 1958.

Number four was born when I was in first grade. Here I am with my new baby sister Melissa.

Then number five, the caboose, came along. Helen was born when I was in third grade. Here we all are at our lake house.

From left to right: Helen, me (Catherine), Melissa, John, and Andy

I don't remember how I felt when my siblings were born, except for Helen. I felt like I was so "old" when she was born (I was going on nine). I was embarrassed that my parents were having another baby. I thought they were too old (they were only in their 30s). I treated Helen like she was my baby until she was too big for me to pick up.

With so many kids, it seems our house was always noisy. My brothers liked to hide under my bed and scare me. Of course I'd scream when they'd pop out. Then I'd march down the hall to the den to tattle to our parents. My brothers would get fussed at, but they'd do it again. I would fuss at our mom whenever my little sisters got in my room and drew in my books while I was at school. I would shout "Keep them out of my room!" Sometimes we'd play hide-and-seek in the house in the evenings until we were made to stop because of all the noise (and someone was usually crying).

What chaos trying to get five kids fed and ready for school! At one time, our mom had to drive us to three (or was it four) different schools every morning. I'd blame them all for making me late.

It's funny how the age differences between us seemed to disappear when we all became adults!



  1. Great story. Three years ago I wrote about my remembering when my two youngest brothers were born at From Maine to Kentucky.

  2. Thanks, Elizabeth! I love your story. I would have had a tantrum, too :)