It’s strange to me sometimes as the parent of an only child, to watch K’s interactions with me, her father, her friends, my friends, the world. I was never an only child. On the day I was born my brother was nearly three and quite happy being an only child. I could regale you with tales of our animosity towards one another. Tell you about all the cruel little things we did to each other growing up. Tell you about all the kind things we did to take care of each other.
The funny thing was that all the cruelty? Was overt. It was the kindness that we tried to keep hidden from each other. Any sign of love or goodwill was a weakness the other could have easily exploited. It never stopped us from caring for one another… it just kept us from liking each other at all until we were well into our 20s. But the sibling relationship that we shared did a lot to form who we both are today.
12 years ago when Matt and I were just learning to put up with each other, just figuring out that we no longer had to hate the bratty kid sister that was always sticking her nose where it didn’t belong or the bullying older brother that tormented her at every move, I wrote a poem for him.
I can’t recall if I ever gave it to him. It seems like something I may have kept to myself. Mostly because I’ve always hated the first stanza. It was only the last 5 lines that ever resonated with me. So today, on his birthday, I decided that those last 5 lines are the poem and I wanted to share it with him. And with you.
through the years
little girl grew up
and you brother
pulled my pigtails
until I cut them off
Thank you Matt. Thank you for being the best most horrible brother a little girl could hope for. And for growing up to be a great friend. Happy birthday. I know this year will bring you more happiness than you can imagine.