If you had asked me 35 years ago whether I was thankful for my little brother, I am rather certain that the answer would have been a decisive “No!”. In the words of his first grade teacher, he was rather incorrigible. When she shared this with him, Matt’s response was, “What does ‘incorrigible’ mean?” (At least this is what the said teacher, now retired, tells us with a smile. It does sound like something he’s say.)
It didn’t take too long, after those first few years of big sisterhood, before I began to find more than an annoying sibling in our household, but a friend, playmate, lego building companion, fellow adventurer and imaginer extraordinaire. Granted, I may have appreciated this aspect more if his imaginary friend hadn’t developed a habit of sneaking treasures from my bedroom, but I did appreciate the fact that the snatched items usually appeared in his same drawer. (or at least empty candy wrappers went there… invisible friends have to eat also, you know.)
So today is Matt’s 37th birthday. And in this month of thanks, I am thrilled to share five things that make me thankful for my little brother! (And yes, Matt, you’re five inches taller than I am, but you’ll always be my little brother.)
Day 10 – 5 reasons I’m thankful for Matt
1. childhood play – you joined with me unabashedly (usually) to jump rope, play ball, ride our bikes, and explore the woods. It was with you that I discovered the huge vine swing, where we seemed for a moment to be removed from the world around.
2. a shoulder to cry on – when our car was in an accident on an icy day home from school my senior year, you helped keep me steady and calm, and when we arrived home, you let me cry on your shoulder. (We’ve had other moments since then, and I’m sure there will be more. Thank you.) moving on…
3. laughter – somehow, you always find a way to make me laugh. It just takes a certain expression, a raised eyebrow, a dry comment of some sort… but you can do it. It has taken years for my husband to reach this level – you set the bar high. Perhaps it’s because of the reruns of SNL we used to watch together, or maybe because you’re born on Bill Cosby’s birthday. I don’t know, but you have that knack.
4. your wife – Chanda is beautiful, patient (as one would expect – she married you), smart (ditto)… and she tolerates your extended family with a smile. This is certainly a plus. Nice life choice there, Matt – we love you, Chanda!
5. you as a daddy – you have always been wonderful with children, but it is such a blessing to see you with your two beautiful, smart, talented daughters. Watching you grow as a loving, wise and caring father makes me proud to be your sister. (The girls have enough of you in them that they may be asking a teacher what “incorrigible” means… but have probably told them already.)
So happy birthday, Matt – I’m thankful for YOU!
p.s. note to Chris – this doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for my older brother, but your birthday is in January. At least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.