Fifty-one years ago, today, my parents, and a vengeful God, gave me a little brother. I don't know why this was considered a particularly good idea. You would think that little brothers would be given to those whose grasp of the basic concepts of younger sibling care was significantly more than the tenuous hold I had on the subject. Still, there he was. All mine.
Mine, of whom to be jealous. Mother reminds me regularly that I grew tired of her attentions to the pink, smelly interloper some time in the first 48 to 72 hours of his arrival and demanded that she "Put that baby down!" Honestly, if she had just done as I required, and ignored the thing for a few weeks...
Mine, to use as a musical instrument. Did you you know that a hammer fist to the back of a twelve-year-old produces a sound akin to that of a bass drum? And, did you know that the resulting squall from said twelve-year-old comes to a father's ear like a bugle call to action? Did you also know that fifteen-year-old percussionists make a sound akin to that of a cartoon cat with its tail on fire when punted by a father answering said bugle call?
Mine, to blame. There are things for which I should have surely roasted in parental Gehenna, but for which little brother's substitution provided propitiation instead. I won't provide specifics as there is no statute of limitations on infractions of parental laws. Suffice to say that the "Great Cookie Jar Heist" would have been adjudicated far differently had Mother been apprised of the latest forensic evidence gathering techniques.
Mine, to subject to endless tricks and treachery. "Okay, Bruce, go long. I promise to throw it to you this time."
Mine, to use a tackling dummy, punching bag, and joke butt.
Mine, to envy. Brother's wife and daughters treat him like a king. All I know is that when we were growing up, he was royal pain in the...
Mine, at whom to marvel. My brother has excelled in a technical field of work and has accomplishments and accolades too numerous to mention. All of this despite an appalling lack of education (he went to Mississippi State).
Mine, for whom to feel sorrow. He could have been blessed with an older brother possessed of empathy, patience, kindness, and a giving nature. He could have had an older brother who would have cared enough to write something uplifting or flattering about him on his birthday. He should have gotten a big brother.
Instead, he got me.