Happy Birthday little Bro.
Even though I probably shouldn't call a man of your advancing years "little bro", you will always be that to me. And while I recognize that you are a successful adult, father, husband and homeowner, you will always be the following things to me:
- The boy with the green toughskin jeans that our mom shrunk to the perfect flood water length, revealing three inches of sock covered ankle.
- The tattletale that outed my every transgression to our mother, which resulted in the "you're older, you should know better" speech.
- The boy with the unruly mop of hair that we could barely get a brush through. Hair that looked like a 70's game show host's if you brushed it really hard and tried to smash it down.
- The kid that never wanted to take a bath, despite your mother's begging and pleading and eventual forcible insertion into the tub.
- The boy that would trade licks off a lollipop with the family dog.
- The foe that faced off against me across the dining room table with no weapons between us but a bowl of fruit*.
*Note to Self: the flesh of ripe Macintosh apples will get stuck in the grooves of the wood paneling if you throw them hard enough.
- The co-conspirator that helped me tie a wire from a neighbor's front door to their rear car door, so that when they left for work in the dark morning hours, we could hear the sound of their aluminum storm door trailing behind their car.
- The little brother that I felt compelled to protect when TJ O'Neill slammed you into the cafeteria wall at lunch. The little turd never knew what hit him when I grabbed him after school and swung him around by the hood of his parka. He never came near you again and he definitely never made eye contact with me again.
And because of these things, or in some cases, in spite of them, you are one of my favorite people on the planet. We share an unusual family history and an even more unusual sense of humor and of course, we share Uncle Ronnie. Nobody will ever understand that dynamic better than you and I.
So today, on your birthday, I honor you with a yellow cake with home made chocolate icing and my undying appreciation for all that we have shared in our lives. It wasn't always easy, but we came through without any major neuroses or gunshot wounds. That in itself is something to celebrate!
Happy Birthday with love,