I am the oldest of four. My brother, Aaron, is two years and two months younger than me, and my other brother, Mark, is five years and two months younger. My only sister, Mariah, is eight years and 10 months younger than me.
My relationships with each of them have ebbed and flowed over time. I love them all so much, and wish to share my strongest memories and feelings about each of them.
When we were little, Aaron and I were best buds. We colored out of the same coloring books at the same time. Sometimes we did coloring and drawing competitions. Most of the time we didn’t cheat by tracing, but sometimes we did.
|Aaron went through a phase where he drew countless pictures of Jafar from Aladdin.
We sang Disney songs together in the fan, to make our voices vibrate. He played paper dolls and barbies with me, and I played trucks and Ninja Turtles with him. He would wake me up early on Saturdays to watch all of our super hero cartoons. We also watched tons of movies, mostly Disney (his favorite was The Little Mermaid and my favorite was Lady and the Tramp).
It wasn’t all roses, though. We had arguments over whether long noodles were called “spaghetti” or “basghetti.”
Sometimes I would blame him for things I did (my parents always assumed it was Aaron, anyway). Once, I was in my parents’ room and I saw a dark pink jar. I turned the lid to open it, and I accidentally spilled out this strong-smelling liquid (I found out later it was used to clean jewelry). I quickly got my mom’s towel from the bathroom, and sopped it up. My mom always had a long doily thing on her dresser then, so I know it got soaked. I think I left it there. My dad questioned us that day. When he asked me if I did it, I denied it, looking down at my food. When he asked Aaron, he said “I don’t know. It’s possible I did it.” I think he ended up with the blame, but didn’t get in trouble. Yep, I was a good sister.
As we got older, and I bloomed into adolescence, Aaron and I seemed to fight more than get along. At an age where I locked my door to get some peace, he took that opportunity to be as annoying as possible. He would stand outside my door and start making this weird clicking sound with his tongue, making it louder and louder (we called it the “tongue thing”). Then, he would stick his thumbnail into my lock, and slowly unlock the door, all the while making that maddening sound. I would scream, run to my door, and press all my weight into it so he couldn’t get in. I would prop my feet up on the wall in front of my door, even, just to keep him out. Sometimes, he would employ the help of our little brother, Mark. I couldn’t win then, not even with propped feet.
|That is the face of an annoying brother for sure.
Aaron would also be annoying at the dinner table. I remember one night, while we were reading scriptures after dinner, he made me so mad. Every time he read a sentence, he would sniff, loudly. Like EVERY SINGLE TIME. I wanted to smack him. I tattled on him, but my parents were completely unaware of how he was trying to ruin my life.
I am still not done. We had three couches in our family room, and two of them were good for TV watching. Well, Aaron would always sit on the same couch as me. He would perch so that his butt would be up in the air, facing me. He did it on purpose to aggravate me. I hated it when he taunted me with that heart-shaped bottom. I would always lift my leg up high, and bring my heel down hard on his butt. He would just laugh, which drove me even more crazy.
As he became an adolescent, all this annoying stuff died down. I wish I could remember a lot about our relationship, but really, I just remember that I put him down sometimes because I was jealous. At one point, a girl at church really liked him, and I was upset because I didn’t have anyone who really liked me. I remember telling him that she flirted with other boys, and he shouldn’t go out with her. I wasn’t always sensitive to my brother’s feelings, and I regret it now.
Even though I wasn’t always a good sister to him, and he was kind of annoying, he was always a great friend to others, hilarious, loving, and a very talented pianist.
Aaron and I didn’t see each other much for the years after I graduated high school. It wasn’t until a few years ago, that we started to reconnect, and even then, he had times when he lived other places. He is about to go to Peabody Conservatory in a few short months.
I am really going to miss him. He is so intelligent, funny, loving, sensitive, talented, humble, among many other things. He is the best uncle in the world to my children. They love him so much. He is so much still like a kid himself, so he is so much fun. I can always have a great conversation with him too.
Thanks for being my brother. I love you.
You already know that Mark would help Aaron unlock my door.
When he became a toddler, after his cute baby stage, he became our annoying younger brother. Aaron and I would try to play, and Mark would want to play too. Didn’t he realize he was in the way?
Once, we were all lying on the floor playing, and I thought it would be fun to take my gum out of my mouth and slowly string it onto Mark’s hair. Oops, I couldn’t get it out. In a panic, I got some scissors, and cut the gum out. Later, my mom was worried, thinking Mark had a bald spot. I felt guilty and told her the truth. I learned that day that peanut butter will get out gum. I am sure I got in trouble, too.
Mark was a cute little boy. He was really chubby, with kind of buck teeth. He always wore huge t-shirts to bed without shorts. I remember he would sit in chairs and we could see his underwear. Aaron and I would giggle about it. Once, I drew him in my “journal” (Aaron and I had composition books we drew in).
When he got older, he and Aaron played all the time. They had separate rooms, but ended up sharing because Mark always wanted to be with Aaron.I think when Mark and Aaron became close, was around the time Aaron started to be annoying to me.
I don’t remember having a really close relationship with Mark. He was so quiet, and always to himself. He drew a lot. He was really talented. I, unfortunately, don’t remember having much in common with him.
However, when he got old enough to really play without being in the way, he would join Aaron and me in our puzzle building, gameboard playing, cartoon watching, make-believing, and trampoline jumping.
As a teenager, I was really busy with homework, drama club, and, as Mark recently reminded me, singing musicals in my room (mostly Phantom). I am sure that is why I didn’t have a strong relationship with Aaron or Mark during those years.
Then I went to college. When I came home, Mark was still in high school, and I had a little boy. I remember thinking Casey looked like Mark when he was little. It was nice to have Mark around. He was good at holding Casey for me.
He even drew a portrait of Casey as a baby for his a high school art class. That was awesome. I still have the portrait.
Mark and I have had a few good talks in our adult years, though he isn’t much of a talker. I remember one time he told me how much he admired me and how I lived my life. I will never forget that, and I appreciate it so.
Now Mark is married to a lovely Brit named Laura. I helped Laura find her wedding dress. I set up my house for their wedding, and even made their wedding cake with Swedish fish.
Mark and I have more in common, now – more to talk about. We also both have love for cooking, and have made yummy things together.
I am so grateful that he made the decision to marry Laura, and that he has stuck with her through hard times. I have very high hopes for the both of them in their continuing life together.
He continues to be a fabulous artist, a quality I admire greatly. I keep hoping he will get back into it, and bless others with his God-given gift.
Mark, I am so glad you are my brother. I love you.
I was much older than Mariah, so I helped out with her a lot when she was little. She was the cutest Easter baby ever, and the chunkiest. No, really, the chunkiest. Think Michelin man.
When she was a newborn, my mom wouldn’t let me hold her unless I was sitting down. I remember not liking that. I wanted to do what my mom did. I loved having a baby sister.
When she was about two, Mariah was terrified of the vacuum cleaner. Every time my mom vacuumed, I held her in my arms until it was over. I cherished those moments as her protector.
I remember fondly how she used to say “hunder” instead of thunder, and “marshfellow” instead of marshmallow.
I remember watching Barney and Blue’s Clues with her all the time.
She was so adorable, and so sweet. She was still pretty young when I went off to college. She was not even 10.
After college, my divorce, and my move to North Carolina, Mariah was at the agreeable age of 13. She was huge into jewelry. She had some cute clothes, some I even borrowed. I let her borrow some of my clothes too, like a dress for her career day at school.
I found a lot of her passions annoying – well, maybe one passion – a boy who didn’t treat her well that she was madly in love with.
Mariah and I have butted heads many times since I have lived in NC. We are so different.Those of you who know us, know what I am talking about.
I used to make the mistake of acting more like her mother than her sister. She hated that, and resented me for it. I have worked really hard to change that – to be a loving, supportive sister who offers a listening ear and genuine advice, minus the judgment.
We have been much closer the past couple years she has been out of high school. Mariah is a wonderful person. I am so proud of the young woman she has become. She and I are still very different, but we share the ultimate goal of having a loyal marriage and raising happy children.
I admire her love for animals, her desire to make a difference in this world, her acceptance of everyone, and her giving nature. She is a hard worker. She also is a fantastic aunt. She spoils her nephews, and loves them to death.
I love you, Mariah. Sisters forever!
The Thacker Kids
Mandy, Aaron, Mark and Mariah. We are the Thacker kids. We grew up in VA, and now are all together (for a little longer) in NC.
We are a passionate, stubborn, hard-headed, slightly crazy, bunch. We love good food, and loud laughs. We are full of love for our family. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for raising us. You did a great job!