July 9, 2012

Oh Brother(s)

I am the luckiest woman in the world. When I was not quite two years old, I became a sister. I became a sister not to one sibling, but two. My younger twin brothers. 

Today is their birthday(s). When we were kids, by virtue of being the only girl, I pathetically tried to play the games they played. I played football, baseball, whatever it took. I was a tomboy, albeit a clumsy one. I had a few moments of victory as the oldest. I embarrassingly started a secret club and part of their initiation was that they had to eat a piece of dog food. I don’t know why I did that to be honest, but at the time it seemed an appropriate abuse of power.

As an adult, it inadvertently led to a remark I’ve never lived down, I dared to lump myself into the category of “the brothers” and say “well none of us were very athletic growing up”.  My one brother took my remark as a horrifying insult instead of an attempt to feel like one of them.  I cannot say any of us were ever “athletic superstars” but I can now imagine how mortifying it must have seemed to my brother who did well at golf and was in softball and bowling leagues to be lumped into a “nonathletic” place. He also was on the football team in high school. I was on no such team, for any sport. I was purely academic.

As we grew up, our family unit struggled. Our parents divorced and we found ourselves moving out of state after our dad remarried. We were thrust into a lot of new situations that we tried to make sense of, and all the while, found comfort in each other. I can remember my dad telling us, friends will come and go, but you will always be brothers and sister.  His way of reminding us that we were forever.  While my attempt to join their sports world was grasping, we soon were found in a world of youth groups and school clubs. We didn’t have a lot to work with, as far as interests went. By high school, indeed, my brothers gravitated to sports endeavors, while I went the academic route. But our family ties stayed intact.

We moved again the summer before I graduated from high school. I was a senior and they were sophomores. I was scared, as I tried to figure out a place I fit in during my last quarter of high school. I’m so grateful that they didn’t shun me while the spent the next year figuring it out. But no matter how different we were, I knew that while I was in the halls of that new place, they would still be there for me.

Right after I graduated, one of my brothers and I both got a job at the same grocery store. That solidified a bond because we discovered that we could both have the same friends and that realization made life a lot more comfortable. My other brother and I bonded over working our way through college. I can still remember going to visit him and how he made breakfast for me and whatever friend had made the trip with me. We bonded over that.

We were bonded by blood but have become further bonded by life experience. One brother is a family guy, the other is a hard working businessman. The two are not mutually exclusive, but rather the primary thrust in their lives. The businessman is indeed devoted to family and the family guy has a good head for business. I remain their mother hen, spouting advice that I know they don’t need, but I don’t know how not to give. A lifetime of experience as I reflect and think of them today.

They are separate people, but they share a day.  One year, at a church retreat, one brother talked about how great it was to have a twin. I listened to his words and realized that while maybe I was a bit jealous, but I also loved that they were that close to each other. We bonded in so many ways growing up, swimming in the pond, the bionic man, hiding the granary, telling stories (S) on late summer nights, sleeping on the porch or the backyard tent, playing kickball… all of it. My life is woven with them.

I am so proud. I love being their sister. I love them. I am proud to bask in the world that is my brothers.

D & D, I hope your day is wonderful.
I Love You.


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