This is the story about the most awesome birthday party. But really, it’s the story about two siblings, and the kind of bond they had.
I’ll always remember this neighbor girl’s party for two reasons: first, I almost got to see a magician perform for the first time, which I was ridiculously excited about. Second, the way the party ended… for me, at least.
So at the age of seven, I sat impatiently through lots of food, waiting, present opening, and other obligatory birthday stuff, all while eyeing the window for my first glimpse of the promised magician. When I saw him come up the walk, it was perfect–he wore all black, including a cape and top hat. YES! This was the real thing. I was so excited.
FINALLY they shuffled us all out to the back porch where the magician had set up an elaborate display with his top hat, cane, a few boxes, and other mysterious objects. I was ecstatic, and I’m pretty sure I did a horrible job of hiding it. I could hardly sit still! He talked to a few of the kids as we were all getting settled with cookies and punch, performing a few off-the-cuff tricks for them while we waited. I hung back, being a shy kid, but I knew he’d come around to me eventually, and I couldn’t wait for my own special trick.
But then I got a tap on the shoulder.
It was the birthday girl’s mom. “Honey, your brother is here to get you. Your dad said it’s time to come home now.”
I panicked. Home? Now?? But I was so close! He was two people away from me! But stalling doesn’t work when you’re seven and you’re given a direct order.
“Sorry honey, but you have to go. Want me to get your goodie bag?”
No! That’s like… a consolation prize!
So off I trotted, goodie bag in hand, through the fence to meet my brother on the sidewalk. I don’t remember what was said on the walk home, and I’m sure it wasn’t deep. I mean, my brother would have been about 3-4 at this point, and I was upset. When we get home, I’m nearly in tears at the unfairness of missing the magician, and I go right away to my dad. He’s reading a book in the guest room, not looking like he needs a thing.
“Why did I have to come home, Dad? The party was only like half over!”
(Dad) Blink, blink.
I tried again. “You sent Robbie to bring me home. Am I in trouble?”
“Uhhh… I never sent Robbie to get you.”
Yep, that’s right. ROBBIE sent Robbie to get me. You see, the bond we had was so tight that when we tried to stretch it by four houses, apparently it snapped back together. Even when I didn’t want it to.
But here’s the cool part about this story.
I was not the kind of sister you’d want to have. I was super bossy, sometimes mean, and always “right.” I once actually stuck a tic tac up his nose so far my mom had to get it out with tweezers. (Story for a different day.) Yet for some reason, my little brother actually wanted to hang out with me. So much so that he came and brought me home early so I’d play with him.
That kind of unbalanced relationship continues today, but in a very different context. My brother has done professional photo shoots for my website, my wedding, my baby’s first days, and lots of other special events. He’s single-handedly helped me move a couch into my third floor apartment. He taught me how to mow the lawn. And when we meet up for lunch, I only get to pay if I trick him out of paying. When I point out how much he’s done for me, you know what his response is? “Yeah, but remember when you edited this paper for me? That was SO awesome.”
Dude, that was in college. Like 10 years ago.
So as you can see, the balance is still uneven, yet he’s always up for hanging out or chatting.
See? There’s just something awesome about a sibling. They are the people we have in our life the longest–parents make up our family for the first decades of life and friends, spouses, and kids often make up the latter part. But siblings are often there for the whole party. My brother has seen me in my worst years and my best–and he still makes time to hang out with me. That is pretty cool, and speaks more highly of him than anything.
I guess what I’m trying to say is… siblings are a gift. A true blessing. I’m so thankful for my brother.
So here’s the deal. The part I’m super excited about…
Vince and I have decided to give our daughter that gift as well!
Congratulations, Elena. Because THIS AUGUST you’re getting a lifelong friend!! Happy siblings day!
COMING AUGUST 2016!