Oh Brother, Birthdays, & Graham Crackers

Since today is my brother's birthday, I thought it would be an excellent time to rerun one of my favorite blogs. HAPPY BIRTHDAY J I LOVE U. You are still the best Christmas present, even if I didn't think so when you arrived. This year I actually picked you up a birthday AND a Christmas present.  Well it's only a pair of socks, but I wrapped each one separate.  And as luck would have it you have the best sister in the whole wide world. What more could a guy ask for? :*) I was lead to believe that this was National Brother's Week. Unfortunately the information was about two months late. What did I expect, timely information for free? I might really have to consider paying those researchers. Scratching my head trying to think of what I should write about today I thought of my brother. I decided with a brother as splendid as mine I don't need Hallmark to tell me when I can tell the world how great he is.

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Now let's be clear this fairy tale brother sister relationship didn't start out all berries and cream. Think rocky, Swiss Alps rocky. yeah we had a few mountains to climb.  I'm 6 years older than my brother. Let's just say I wasn't exactly thrilled when my parents  told me of his impending arrival. To add insult to injury he was due around Christmas. Really people! Of course I know this may sound cruel to anyone who isn't the oldest child in their family, but come on my parents and I had a nice little groove going. I had no complaints and with my sunny personality why would they need or want another child? When asked if I wanted a brother or sister allegedly I responded I want a German Shepard. This should have been their first clue that their plan to bring this little Gremlin home should be rethought. Well you can see from the picture of the striking young man that they didn't listen to me. Maybe they were on to something. Of course I didn't see it right away. After looking at a Christmas tree for almost 3 weeks and another week to go before Christmas my brother arrived on December 19th.  I know you all had your calculators close by to do the math. You can put them away. There will be no hints to our ages other than I'm 6 years older than he is. :-)  

As I mentioned earlier things started off a little rocky. Reportedly I bit him when our entire extended family came over and started cooing  over the newest addition.  I plead the fifth. I mean what did they expect?  I ask for a dog and instead I get a brother. How is that fair? I was the star in this family and here he comes stealing Christmas and the family right from under me. This meant war.  I won't bore you with all the hi-jinx I  caused. Let's jut say my mother was found of saying "stop picking on your brother. One day he's going to be your best friend." Yes I thought she was at the very least delusional and at worst certifiable. My sworn enemy and I friends, no way no how.  Needless to say she was right. I hate it when that happens.

Still we weren't friends yet a long way from it. As children tend  to do he started to walk and talk and develop a personality.  I'd come home from school each day, try to sneak in and hide in the basement without being detected. He was absolutely horrible. I mean what 2 year old can tell time? Obviously he could because most days I couldn't even sneak in because he was camped out by the door waiting.  He'd have this weird smile on his face,  a handful of gummy wet graham crackers and a sippy cup that had traveled all over the house with him on his daily adventures.  I was starting to think I was starring in a Stephen King movie. Why does someone I'm horribly mean to want to be my friend so bad ? Who saves food for their mortal enemy? Doesn't this kid know we are at war?  This couldn't be good. I had visions of him knocking me off in my sleep. It probably didn't help that he had clobbered me over the head with one of those old fashioned stoneware mugs. In his defense I had tried to feed him pancakes I  dropped on he floor, still don't know how he figured that out. But back to the graham crackers he used to torment me with. Years of counseling and I still can't bear to see a box of Teddy Grahams.  My beloved brother would save his midday snack. I mean he would only eat his share and then save the rest for me. Not that I ever accepted his offer for graham crackers and juice.  Once he figured out my portion he'd carry it around until I arrived.  He'd put them in his Tonka  trucks, on the floor, hold them in his moist little palms and so on. By the time I walked in the door his bribe for friendship would be wet, covered with carpet fiber, and usually most of Teddy Grahams face would be in his hands or smeared all over his cup. Mmm yum can't wait such a tasty treat. Everyday he'd say the same thing guurl you want some juice guurl, I saved some cookies for you. Incredible. This is the person my mom thinks is going to be my best friend one day. Parents! I'll fast forward over other my other shanangins like cutting his hair in geometric shapes to punish him for wanting to befriend me. Yes, it was mean especially since it totally backed fired on me. He thought I could do no wrong. How do you wage war when the enemy will not fight back? You don't.

I went away to college and came home to discover my brother was becoming a man. Now that we are all grown I wish I had been a better sister when we were kids. He's never changed his mind about me. from day one he thought I was the best sister a kid could have. Told you he was crazy. :-) Despite all the reasons I gave him to abandon ship he never left my side. I'm so grateful that one of us had some sense. When you're a kid six years seems like an eternity. Now that we're adults I find myself thinking 6 years is just a second. I'm not jut saying this because he is my brother, but he is the coolest guy I know. You see it. How many people do you know that can pull off that suit and hat and look that smooth.Not many.  He is humble, smart, funny and incredibly calm under pressure and almost never loses his temper. Trust me I have tested his patience along the way. He's always been like that. Somethings never change. He's always loved me fiercely and believed I was the best sister in the world. Mom as always you were right, Jay-Stat if I'm a good sister it's only because you are a better brother. I love you, but I think I'll still pass on the juice and graham crackers.