There are a lot of people reading this blog these days, and I thank every one of you.  But there is one reader who took me a bit by surprise.

Apparently my older brother, Bryan is an avid reader.  He likes to pull out comments about my blog now and then at family gatherings, leaving everyone scratching their heads, and me blushing bright red.  

Simple comments really.  An off-hand, “Where’s your scarf?”  a few days after my first vlog.  Or a random “Well, I hear in Scandinavia, play is a very important part of the education system,” in the middle of a conversation about swimming lessons.  And now and then, when one of my kids has a melt down or gets into mischeif, he likes to comment, “Now that’s not just cute, that’s hilarious!”

And after launching my ebook he had to give me a hard time.

“I can’t believe you didn’t write about the time I put you in the dryer or the time I pushed you down the stairs.  If you can write a whole book and not bring that up, then you’re just not being true to yourself as a writer.”  He’s pestered me a few times about mentioning him in a post, and since today is his birthday, I thought I’d oblige him.

Now, I have to be honest.  While the stories about my time in the dryer and the trip down the stairs are something of family lore, I have no memory of them. (Though I suppose there could be some brain damage involved….) 

What I do remember are the many times my brother has been there to say just the right thing at just the right time.  (Though true to the secret order of older brothers, there’s plenty of teasing to go around in front of others.)

When I was heartbroken about not getting a part in the school play in elementary school, he was the one who pointed to his posters of Michael Jordan and told me the story of how the best player in the NBA was once denied a spot on the varsity basketball team.

When I was a freshman in high school he was a very cool senior, but not too cool to let me ride in his pickup with him to school and home from practice, helping me with my althletic confidence (or lack thereof) as we listened to Pearl Jam and Nirvana .

And when I flippantly commented that no one was interested in taking me out, he let me know that no one would ask me out because they knew he’d beat them up.  (Thanks a lot.)

In college (where there were too many guys around for him to threaten all of them) he was the one to remind me that someone who could treat me better but didn’t, wasn’t someone worth waiting for. 

When I headed out for an adventure in Costa Rica, he was the one who took me to the airport, and it was his words that put my nerves at ease.

He gave me a room in his home and a job in his landscaping business when I needed to stay around between school years, once again sharing early morning rides in his pickup.  I’m quite certain he could have found someone else to do the job.  Someone who actually already knew something about installing sprinklers and driving skid-steers.  He hired me because I needed his help, not because he needed mine.

And for all the teasing about the ebook, he was the one who said (privately of course) that I had done something to be proud of.  And his comment made me feel it was true.

So for my brother who likes to embarrass me by teasing me in public while being nice to me in private, I thought I’d try embarrassing him by publicly showing how nice he really is. 

(I just hope it doesn’t convince him to quit being nice to me.)

Happy Birthday, Bryan!



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