Dear older brother: You had just turned four when I came along. Here you are holding me when I was just weeks old. I love that beaming face of yours when in reality you were thinking “Someone in this house is hard of hearing. I asked for HOT WHEELS not a tiny sack of NOISE." I know I was not the best birthday gift you ever received and given the opportunity, you would have traded me STAT for a subscription to Mad Magazine, a pack of bubblegum cigarettes, and a Hippity Hop. But you were stuck with me.
As a special present on your special day, let me freely confess to several occasions in which I was a pain in your arse. Yes, I know this doesn’t begin to cover it. I am the gift horse. Don’t look me in the mouth. I will also make these confessions with only a few details of why I believed you deserved it at the time. You are welcome.
When you relayed to Mom I broke the glass lamp shade in my bedroom, what was I to do? I was ten. Therefore, I wasn’t crafty in the ways of “remaining silent and plot fantastic revenge” at that age. I resigned to telling Mom you let your friend Trevor shoot a BB gun inside our house. And for good measure, I also told her you were using your nunchucks in the kitchen and broke the kitchen light. Not another minute was spent on the lampshade. Me=Pain in arse.
And remember when you embarrassed me in front of Tom? For whom I had a mad, mad crush? And oh, you laughed so very hard? Well, for that I poured water in your bed and told our Father you had a bed wetting problem. Me=Pain in arse. And an extra “Sorry” because I was quite delighted that our Father appeared to believe me for a minute.
Oh, and remember your drumset? The drumset of which you scientifically measured the precise angle of the cymbals to know whether or not I had broken the law and touched them in your absence? AND I did AND I got in big trouble? That explains why I asked mom if I could borrow a book from your room and I certainly picked the one I knew to be the secret storage chamber for your contraband cigars and cigarettes. What a coincidence. Me = Pain in arse. But oh, a very clever one.
And in high school, I told my friend Tish that you only liked her because she had a big rack. SORRY. That was a double offense to you AND her. And that same summer, Mom found those pictures of me and all my girlfriends having that huge party at our Father’s house when he was gone? She was about to get CrazyPissed when I came home and she asked me “What EXACTLY are these?” Well, I said “PHOTOS” which was the WRONG ANSWER and then I said “Ask Tumbleweed, he was there. He was our adult chaperone.” Me = Pain in arse, BUT one that escaped restriction. Girl has to do what a girl has to do.
I do think it fair to remind you of this though. When I was about four, tottering out to breakfast one morning, I found out we had no milk for my cheerios. At that same moment, our dog Shiloh was host to eight tiny and thirsty puppies. Do you remember what you did? Let me refresh you. You slid open the back door and told me we got our milk from the same place as the puppies. I was obviously quite hesitant. I was sure I had seen our milk come from this place called "The Red Barn" but you seemed oh so certain. You actually nudged me closer to Shiloh before I turned to you in my angelic innocence and quivering voice, asked "Are you s-s-s-s-sure? Maybe I should ask Daddy?” Thank you for whisking me in house immediately. Clearly, you had some of this coming to you.
Oh, and incidentally, when you were asked to "watch your sister" that did not mean punch me in the arm repeatedly with gusto for entering your room without knocking.
But after you grew up, left home, added new experiences to your life vault, I think we grew to appreciate each other better. And our friendship grew during that time frame, and we actually got to know each other as people. I think we have such a great friendship. And I thank you for all the times we have laughed, shared common annoyances, shared great music and books, kicked everyone’s ass at Taboo (NO ONE can beat us) and shared great trips (just kidding…remember that HORRIBLE trip you went on with me that I told you would be “fun” and was almost but not quite as fun as chewing glass or a Backstreet Boys concert? SORRY!)
Today I celebrate you. You have become such a great man. You are kind, thoughtful, talented, and loved. Thank you for all your support, and truly being a champion of everything I do. And for giving that same love and encouragement to MiniMac. (Ummm, the fact you are buying him a drumset only demonstrates to me that you might be trying to pay me back for some of the above.) I know that you would do anything for me, and you have already done so much. I am glad our different routes in life have remained connected. This certainly negates the time you seriously encouraged me to somehow suckle enough milk from our dog to eat my morning cereal.
I hope this year holds amazing things ahead for you. Happy Birthday Brother. The world wouldn’t be the same without you.