It’s been exactly 20 years since my brother was born, changing my world forever. Mind you, the addition of JJ to my life did not make me any less of a brat at the time (and, arguably, even now. I still like getting my way), and it took me years to like him.
But it gave me a comrade in arms, someone to trudge with, even when miles of desert and then dozens of states separated the two of us. I’m certain there is no one else in this world I have physically injured more, intentionally (the time I threw a hairbrush at his head, the time I punched him in the sternum) or otherwise (the time I knocked one of his teeth out by hitting a tennis ball his way, the time I closed the car door on his thumb). I’m also certain there’s no one else who has heard me sing so much while in the shower/doing the dishes/vaccuuming/etc. (Believe it or not, I try to tone it down my natural inclinations when I’m around most people.)
There’s no one else who quite understands my childhood and the years that made me me, because he lived through them, too. We’re different people, of course, but he still gets it and gets me. And I’ve come to realize that I’m lucky to have a brother I love so much and am so close to, because that isn’t always the case. And, of course, we have the same facial expressions.
Anyway, the point of all of this is, happy birthday, JJ. Thanks for changing my life for the better.