Tomorrow is my little brother’s birthday.
This will make three out of my past four blog posts
specific-family-member-oriented. We honestly didn’t plan it that way, I just
happened to be “on deck” for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and now the Fourth of
Which just happens to be my little brother’s birthday.
So, if you’re tired of hearing me rave about how wonderful
my family is…
David stole my thunder. I mean, here I was, a passably cute
kid whose parents both worked with older kids, so I figured I was set for some
good quality group-based attention. Then along comes this tow-headed bundle of adorability
with his mischievous monkey smile and poof!
To make up for this intrusion, I became a truly awful older
brother. I cringe to recall some of the truly asinine arguments David and I had
growing up, over everything from Cheerios to whose skin was more like rubber,
and whose was more like glue. (Most of these arguments took place in the family
station wagon and, eventually, the family minivan on our way to school. It is
amazing that my mother did not kill us both – thanks, Mom!
We would play “war” in our expansive back-yard, choosing our
nerf weapons before each battle. And by “choosing,” I mean “Michael chose the
nerf bat for himself (along with a garbage-can lid for a shield) and the one-shot nerf popgun for David.”
I fed him to the neighbor’s dog, Honey, who was really just
a friendly Husky but of whom David was terrified.
I once locked him in my dad’s car trunk. (This story has
long been a source of contention between us – I insist that he was lying down,
fake-sleeping, he insists that he was tying his shoes. In the trunk of a Dodge
Intrepid. Neither was really a good choice on his part – not that closing the
trunk on him was an exercise in great judgment, but still.)
We fought with fists, words, sticks, nerf weapons, whatever
we could manage to throw at each other. We vied for desserts, for attention, for the hell
of it. We were always – always – at each others’ throats.
And David – every bit of it was my fault.
It amazes and humbles me, today, that my little brother is
more or less my best friend. And yet it’s perfectly natural – he has, truly,
seen me at my worst, my petulant, greedy worst, and loves me regardless. That is the very definition of the best
Happy birthday, Dave – and just this once, I’ll concede: the
fireworks are all