When I was 10, my brother, John S. was born.
Despite my best efforts to raise him, his parents kept getting in my way. (Yes, I know, they were my parents, too.)
My older sister was excited to have a real live doll to play with. She could dress him up in her doll clothes, paint his face with her mother’s rouge, and position him just right. (have you ever tried to make a baby stay in the place you want him?)
She soon grew tired of that and returned to her more amenable dolls. This allowed me more time to play with him, take him for walks in his stroller, let him pull my hair, and generally treat him like the puppy I always wanted.
As John grew older, his sisters tried to inculcate proper boundaries in his life. For example, I informed his mother that he shouldn’t be watching the Flintstones every day at lunch. I look back on those days, wiser now. I was not acting entirely in John’s best interests. If I’m honest, I have to admit I was jealous, plain and simple. Why should my brother get to watch TV while eating mac and cheese, while I ate a bagged lunch in a boring school cafeteria? My kids would probably tell you that TV hadn’t been invented when I was that age. Kids can be cruel.
It became clear that John’s parents were not idiots. They rescued him from his two older sisters by moving him away to Newfoundland. There, John learned how to fix skidoos and other manly arts that neither of his sisters possessed. Good move, Parents.
Thus, John grew up to be an engaging, responsible man of many skills, talents and abilities. He has married well, raised decent, law abiding children, and is now a grandfather of six. I say this with pride and humility at the same time; he has surpassed me. I believe his other sister would say the same.
The anniversary of his birth has come around once more; I wish you, John S., a day of celebration, love, and joy.
Be well, be happy, be blessed, my sainted brother. You are a credit to your sisters, and I daresay, the best of us all.