Sunday, March 15, 2009

Reasons I Want to Wish My Brother a Happy Birthday

  • When I was very young, probably 5 or 6, Jon allowed me to play basketball with him in the basement. He put up with my lack of skill in basketball and great skill in whining and played with me, cajoling me out of the inevitable tears when the ball would bounce back and hit me in the nose. This has always stuck with me, because he could've ignored me or become annoyed with his tagalong little sister. Instead he treated me with respect and good humor. He still treats me that way all these years later.

  • We share the same warped sense of humor. Mine is probably due to too many basketballs to the head. I'm not sure what his excuse is.

  • I have two older brothers and I always thought Jon wore the white hat of the "good guy" while Todd donned the black hat. Jon was usually pretty good at protecting me from Todd when I would aggravate him into a fight of some kind. I will always remember the Knife Incident and recall how Jon "saved" me from a knife-wielding Todd. I should state right here before my mother hyperventilates (Hi Mom! You okay?) that THERE WAS NO REAL DANGER and we all crack up over this particular incident. It was one of many in a cycle of provocation and retaliation that Todd and I lived as siblings. I am happy to report that we all get along splendidly now--probably due to Jon saving my life so often. Heh.

  • Jon could be counted on to execute the most excellent fish-tails upon request when acting as my chauffeur to dance and piano lessons. He taught me everything I know about unsafe driving.

  • When he was in graduate school in Texas and I was one of the leads in the high school musical, Jon sent me roses after opening night. To my high school self, this was a sweet gesture. As I look back and realize how much cash he must have forked over for those roses and how tight his budget most assuredly was, those roses become a gesture of lavish extravagance which I appreciate even more now.

  • He shares my passion for Frango Mint ice cream--the most AWESOME. FLAVOR. EVER!!!

  • Jon taught his children and nieces and nephews to mosh to "Burning Down the House" by the Talking Heads. Enough said.

  • I was once given a doll that had a little disc tucked into a compartment in her back that allowed her to speak. (This was well before the digital age, folks.) This doll wore a pink nightie and had snaps on her inner wrists that allowed her to "clasp" her hands as if in prayer. Her name was Patty Prayer (I know! How original!) and she could pray "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" and after flipping the disc would sing "Are You Sleeping, Brother John?" I played this to him ad nauseum and while he may have contemplated dollycide in his head, he never once acted on it. Patty Prayer lived to an advanced doll-age and died a natural toy death. You are merciful, Brother Jon.
  • Jon made a fabulous elephant puppet and told a great story to my first grade class about an elephant that liked to smash cars. "Smashing cars, smashing cars, how I love to smash small cars." What a rockstar!!
  • My older brother has always rejoiced in my accomplishments, had an encouraging word for me, given me a helping hand when I needed one and tried to lift my spirits when I was low.
  • He once took the full brunt of my wrath and endured being called the worst name I could think of at the time: Pigeonhead.
  • Jon lives too far away, we see each other much too infrequently and he should know how much I love him.
Happy Birthday, Jon! You are and have always been a great big brother. Also, 46 IS the new 23. I got your back on that one!!

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