My brothers are 30 years old today. My little brothers are 30, not 8.
Of those 30 years, I probably hated them for at least 10 and couldn’t be bothered for another 4. It’s kind of amazing that we now exist in an era in which I rather like being with them.
I don’t remember when they came home from the hospital (I was 18 months old) but legend has it that I started sucking my thumb on that day.
I probably never completely got over feeling jealous and out of place. But that wasn’t their fault. And they are the only people in the whole world who know what my growing-up was. I bet we don’t fully understand the grown-ups of each other that we are now, but there’s something to knowing one another’s pasts.
We’re not a family who says “I love you.” So I won’t do any of that here. But I’m happy to have them around. I’m glad that we can speak to one another, and in my family, I feel like that’s saying something, and I think we’re ok with saying that, at least.
It’s been years since we’ve spent any of our brithdays together, but as chance would have it, I’ll be seeing them both today. Buying presents for boys is never the easiest. Shopping for my brothers, in particular, seems to be especially daunting. But I wised up and went searching for T-shirts on Threadless. I found this one, which I think is quite clever. Quite a few years ago, the boys came out to visit and we went to a Magritte show at the SF MOMA, so we saw the real “This is not a pipe” together. Hopefully, they’ll dig.
Happy birthday, boys.