Today is my big brother's birthday. (Yes, he was born on the Ides of March!) He is the firstborn of my parents' five children, and I came along a mere 16 months after him. We were always thick as thieves growing up. My father claims that we never really fought as little kids, that we always acted like "best buddies."
I think this picture of us from 1962 is hilarious. With our raggedy hoodies and our twin tough-guy scowls, we look like a couple of little thugs here. (What was up with us in this picture?)During our teen years, my big brother and I couldn't have been more different. He attended the local all-boys Catholic high school, and he spent his years there partying more than studying. I attended the rival co-ed Catholic high school across town, and I was a studious rule follower and a bit of a goody-two-shoes (in his eyes especially). He teased me unmercifully. But in spite of our differences, we were always very close. In spite of the teasing, I never doubted that he was in my corner. He could always make me laugh until I had tears in my eyes. He still can.
My big brother is more than just a funny guy, though. He is an upstanding member of his community: hard-working, successful, church-going, and responsible. He is a deeply devoted husband and father. And in a world where so many of us lose touch with those who knew us when (aside from quick Facebook posts), he still counts among his good friends the guys with whom he played junior high basketball.
I don't tell him often enough, but I admire him and really think he's something special.
So a very happy birthday to you, big brother (from your nerdy little sister). And here's wishing you many more!