I wish I could tell you guys about my brother. Because today is his birthday and he lives too far away to send him a singing telegram. Apparently they only deliver “within city limits.” He might be in a different time zone, but it’s still the continental US, okay?
Whatever, amateurs. PS, Your customer service sucks.
Anyway, today he’s turning 48.
Just kidding. That would be mathematically impossible.
But he’s not that far off. What? BURN!
But seriously, I wish I could tell you all about him. But he doesn’t read my blog. Or any other words, ever. When I told him I wanted to write a book, he said, “Cool! I won’t read it.” I’m trying not to take it personally.
My brother is funny. If it weren’t for him, I would be the funniest person in my family. (That actually can’t be proven.)
I wish I could tell you how many times we’ve sat around the dinner table, laughing so hard my stomach hurt. He would turn red and start doing this bark-laugh, I would start crying and do this hideous thing with my mouth because it wasn’t big enough to fit around the laugh that was pouring out of it. Laughter in my family is a common but ugly-looking thing.
He’s also a lot of fun.
I wish I could tell you guys how he invented all kinds of sports when we were growing up, which were basically just regular sports but renamed. Like when we would play Hot Potato with a squishy Auburn football, throwing it at each other with as much force as we could muster to
inflict pain make the other person drop it ten times. We called this game Ten Drop. He was never too good or too old to play with his kid sisters.
But I should mention that he’s also a little scary.
Scary might not be the right word.
Intimidating, maybe. Or at least he was. Though the age difference between us has always been eight years, that gap feels so much smaller now that we’re adults.
But there’s still a tiny piece of me that looks to him the most, out of all my other siblings, for confirmation. For approval. Some habits are hard to break.
Maybe it’s because he’s the firstborn, the oldest. Maybe because of our age difference and we never really had to deal with sibling rivalry. Maybe because I’m his favorite sister. (According to his own declaration; Ramstein, Germany; circa 1989.)
But I think it’s maybe because he has always been someone to test myself against; despite how different we might have seemed, he was a reflection of who I wanted to be. He has always been someone who accepted my efforts – as sister, student, athlete, adult, parent – while ignoring my flaws, not bothering with judgment or advice, and made me feel like I was great at it, whatever It was. And if I wasn’t great, then I could be. I will be.
Happy birthday, Big Brother, even though you won’t read this.
Next year I’ll just draw you a picture.