Wednesday, May 07, 2008

62/365: My brother, Ryan

Some time in the evening we got a phone call. My mom argued with the caller for a bit and then hung up. Within an hour, a woman arrived at the door with a baby wrapped in a grubby towel. "His name is Ryan," she said, handing him to my mom, "thanks for taking him. It's only until tomorrow night."

As a rule, we never took in anyone under the ages of fifteenish, so this was weird. The idea was that kids in their late teens had well-developed personalities and often lots of behavioural problems that made them easier to let go.

I don't know how old he was, but he was miserable when he came. He had no clothes except for a diaper that hadn't been changed for a long time.

So much for him was new. It soon became clear that the only food he knew was soup crackers. For him, grapes, applesauce, yogurt, rasins were all revelations.

He wasn't with us for very long but the story goes that the experience made me stop fighting the fact that my sister was soon to follow. Contrary to what anyone might think, it was not the fact that he was a baby that fascinated me, but that he was male, because boys are different and that makes them interesting.

I continue to dislike babies. There's nothing wrong with them except that I don't find them particularly interesting. People tell me that I'll change my mind, but I don't think they know me very well. It's a topic I try to avoid in conversation.