one of my earliest memories is of going on a walk with my uncle Carl and my baby brother. I remember that richie was really young and was still in a stroller and I was walking and for whatever reason uncle Carl got super frustrated and left us. all I remember is first feeling afraid for myself, but that was soon replaced by an overwhelming need to protect my brother and get him home safely. I remember going to a nice looking house, knocking on the door and expressing my situation. it was kind of a disaster because we had been at my grandparents and I only knew my home address and phone number but somehow, and probably by some act of God, we made it back safely. to this day I wonder sometimes how/when I became so matronly, and after lots of reflection I think my maternal instinct kicked in in that instant when I had to protect my brother and in all honesty I don't think it ever turned off.