What evidence is shown in "Raymond's Run" that Squeaky loves her brother and understands his childish ways?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this touching story, Squeaky exhibits a maturity well beyond her years. Clearly, she possesses a mature understanding of human nature, especially that of girls, perceiving easily their petty grievances and inclinations as she accurately interprets their looks, gestures, and words of gratuitous malice and rivalry.

Beyond this understanding, Squeaky possesses a maternal instinct about Raymond as she has Raymond walk on the inside of the sidewalk of a busy boulevard so that he will be safe from passing automobiles. She also has a sister's fierce loyalty for her mentally challenged brother. While at first she appears to be a more typical sibling, remarking "shame on Raymond if he can't keep up [with her as she runs]", she later makes a comment which indicates that she is diligent about not allowing people to get near him enough to say or do something to him. In another instance, in commenting about when Gretchen and "her sidekicks" approach Squeaky, she maligns them for their treatment of Raymond, describing Rosie as having

...a big mouth where Raymond is concerned and is too stupid to know that there is not a big deal of difference between herself and Raymond and that she can't afford to throw stones. 

Furthermore, in several instances Squeaky is ready to defend Raymond, using such threatening phrases as "...they're about to see what trouble they can get into through him." Finally, that her love for Raymond is completely unselfish is evinced in Squeaky's loving reaction to Raymond's having run along with her in the race on the outside of the fence. She is so proud of him, even if he does run with his teeth protruding and his hands at his side: "my brother Raymond, a great runner in the family tradition." She is so moved by his run that she willingly would give him some of her awards 

...I've got a roomful of ribbons and medals and awards. But what has Raymond got to call his own?

Here, the perception of Squeaky alter about Raymond; for her, he finds more meaning in life than she has previously thought.