On October 12th, in the year of the Rat, Adam was many things: a spunky, energetic toddler, a full-sentence speaking whiz, an eagle perched on a blue velvet couch, and a dog with tube sock ears. But one thing he was not (and could not be until I entered the scene the following morning) was a sibling. While my entrance into the world gave him big brother status, his status of big brother made my entrance into the world an exciting ride from the start. Eighteen months to the day apart, we were a team from the beginning. Because we share lucky thirteen birthdays, for his birthday today I share thirteen reasons we are lucky.
1. Not everyone has a little sister with a perfect superman curl on her forehead to cut off with scissors while she is sleeping.
2. Not everyone has a brother who will cut off that perfect superman curl, so that thirty years later, she can pull out a crumpled envelope, saved lovingly over the years, to find inside a small curl of hair that perfectly matches her own daughter’s sweet, young golden brown locks.
3. Not everyone has a little sister who will willingly assist in the grand theft of Fruit Stripe from the grocery store, only to have to return and pay for it when mom discovers two small children squatted low in the back seat of the car chomping large wads of fruity paradise.
4. Not everyone has a brother who will laugh with her at the memory of her first and only theft in life because he was there, just as he was there for every other “first” along the way.
5. Not everyone has a little sister to co-pilot the voyage of a blue Volkswagen Beetle that crushed our beloved tricycle in its path down the driveway.
6. Not everyone has a brother who includes her in such high adventures-- from car wrecks to streaking to outsmarting babysitters, from fields to gullies to horses and ATCs, from mountains and lakes to rock climbing and concerts, from camping and caves to countries and continents that still await…
7. Not everyone has a brother who gives mohawks to her Barbies, then hangs them from nooses for a ransom.
8. Not everyone has a sister who actually thinks this is funny, and tells her six-year-old son (decades later) to consult with Uncle Adam on how to ‘play Barbies’ the man way.
9. Not everyone has a brother who will stay up late into the night almost every single night (through all of HS and some of college too) to talk about anything, everything, and nothing, just because we are friends.
10. Not everyone has a sister who for the rest of her life will remember being night owls together and wonder how she could have had a better friend for all those years.
11. Not everyone has a brother who started playing guitar one day, and never stopped.
12. Not everyone has a sister who knows her brother excels in anything he sets his mind to.
13. Not everyone has a brother who writes her poems on her birthday, tells her he’s proud of who she is, compliments her, thanks her, understands her, and calls her his parallel universe. And that, my friends, is not just luck. It is love, and I am grateful for it.