2 days after my brother, Alex, was born I sat on a couch holding him uncomfortably, clearly deciding whether I was excited about having a younger brother or scared about the attention he would take away from me.
I think I realized a short time later that having a brother was mostly a good thing. While there were plenty of days I wanted to kill him, there were -- and still are -- a bunch of perks to being an older sister (this blog post being one of them). In honor of Alex's birthday, I wanted to list some of my favorite older sister memories that I think we can all relate to:
1. Manipulating him into playing dress up with me, by saying I'd wear his clothes if he wore mine. I think this was every girl's favorite game, but it was even more fun with a brother. I forced him to make those facial expressions, too.
2. Wearing matching outfits. While this wasn't my choice, I'm pretty sure my parents were trying to take cutesy photos, and he was always too young to complain or know that it was even embarrassing.
3. Helping him do things like swimming. Since I was bigger than him for the first few years -- the only time in my life that I'll ever be taller or stronger than someone -- I could dunk him or half-drown him any time I wanted.
4. Having someone to play outside with, but always having to yell at him to stop following me. We made pretend soup with the "beans" from those pods that flew through the air and tried to learn tricks on our Razor scooters.
5. Teaching him how to play Barbies or have a fashion show with me. But don't worry, I played monster trucks and dinosaurs with him. Now we can say we're not boring -- our interests are so diverse! I still know the names of at least 10 Monster trucks...Grave Digger, Medusa ....
He had his birthday party at Cleveland Brothers. He's the kid climbing up the highest.
6. Having someone to build the biggest stuffed animal collection with. I wish I had a picture that truly captured how many of those things we had.
7. Being forced to share everything with him, whether it was my pack of candy or blankets. We were probably hitting each other the second after this picture was taken.
8. Forcing him to take pictures in the Chuckie Cheese photo booth -- my favorite thing ever! It was especially nice when I got him to do the "trendy" peace sign pose, too.
Today he turned 18. Now that he's older, it makes me sad thinking he's an adult going off to college soon. I think I thought he was always going to stay little, following me around everywhere and doing annoying things. While he can still be pretty annoying, I know he's going to do great things with his own life, now that he's smart and funny and not as easy to manipulate.
We had quite the childhood, and without the fights and torturing we put each other through -- one time he decided to walk up to me with a pair of scissors and cut my big toe -- we wouldn't be the friends we are today. With a brother, I always had a buddy.
Happy Birthday, Alex!
My favorite things are the simple ones: day-long book binges, cozy candles, dog kisses, ink on your hands, tree stars (leaves for those of you who never watched The Land Before Time) sweater weather, new ideas, local craft beer, punctuation, and knotty saltwater hair. Desserts are my favorite meal. I'm a creative writer and editor, and I created this space to keep my writing reflexes sharp and to share my simple ramblings with you!