Out back, beyond our property line is a field that was left fallow for the summer. Lately, I’ve been watching a tractor travel from one side to the other, then back to front to back again, plowing the weeds under and breaking up the soil.
One evening as the sun was going down and the tractor was on its path toward our house, I remembered playing on our old swing set as a kid. My youngest brother was with me. I have no idea how old we were, but he was at a gullible age and I was old enough to take full advantage of that fact. It might have been in the spring, or maybe fall–about this time of year. Same time of day, when the evening twilight somehow makes everything look a little different. From the field adjacent to our family’s property, Dave and I heard a low rumble, a sort of mechanical growling. The field was far enough away, and the evening light dim enough, that only the bright headlights of the tractor were visible to us as it plowed and churned up the earth.
When David asked what it was, I convinced him those were the glowing eyes of a monster coming to get him. It took very little effort on my part, as I recall.
It wasn’t the only time I’d taken advantage of Dave’s youthful trust in me, his big sister. Many times I’d told him the blue jays were calling him–Deeb! Deeb! It sounded exactly like the way he said his name before he could pronounce the V.
Then, there was the time I brought home a bottle of body lotion from the hospital after my appendectomy. He commented that it smelled like barf…and I convinced him it was. If that wasn’t bad enough, a year later, he told his teacher the local hospital was using patients’ you-know-what as body lotion. He knew it was true because his sister told him.
Now, as a grown-up, the sight of that tractor out behind our house made me chuckle. As mean as I was in those long ago days, Dave is one of my favorite people. The memories of my efforts to make his childhood miserable give us both something to laugh about every now and then. I’m thankful Dave chose to turn over all my misdeeds, burying them in the soil of love so that our relationship could grow and flourish strong and healthy. I don’t know if I ever said I was sorry for all the lies I told him, all the false tales I made him believe. But I don’t think it’s ever too late to apologize.
So Dave, I’m sorry you were gullible enough to believe my lies. And I ‘m sorry you thought it appropriate to repeat my tall tales. Most of all, I’m sorry I waited this long to ask your forgiveness.
Oh, and by the way, Happy Birthday Deeb!