Many people thought that my brother and I were twins when we were young, even though Steve was about 5 years my senior. He was talk and lanky, and I was talk and lanky. I looked older for my age, so we fit together quite well as "twins."
We were as close as siblings could be but were still at each others' necks constantly.
I remember my first day of Kindergarten as if it were yesterday. I can still smell the paste and crayons.
"Mommy, I don't want to go! Why do I have to go?!" I wailed at mom, holding her's and Steve's hands.
Dad was at work, and Steve had wanted to come with mom before school to see me off to my first day.
"Because all little boys and girls go to school when they are five, darling." She replied.
"But, but I don't want to go to Kindergarten!" I clutched at her leg with a death grip. As we entered the room #4, filled with grimy little kids my age.
"I don't want you to go either, but, Honey, you have to go."
"Can I go to forth grade with Stevie?" I looked pleadingly up at him. His eyes lit up.
"Yeah, mom, can she come with me? She's just as smart as any of those other little kids," he said this as if he weren't one of them. "Smarter, even. No one would ever know!"
"I want Stevie to stay with me, then!" I was persistent.
"I'm sorry, guys, but she can't go to your class Stephen, and he can't go to your class, Bethany."
I started wailing, and surely I was not the first nor the last child to do so on such a day.
Steve, always the strong one, pulled me to him and petted my hair, the same dark color as his. "It's okay, Bethy, it'll be all right. It'll be all right..."
He had to say that to me many times over the years, and each time was such comfort. It made me feel safe then, and still does to this day.