Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Jerry!

You in 2005
Moi in 1995
Dear Brother of Mine,

Today we celebrate the fact that you are eight years old (even though your real birthday was Wednesday).  Today, we will have cake and presents and ice cream.  As I type this, you (having no idea that I'm writing a blog post about you) are thundering around the family room playing hide-and-seek with our sister Laura.  Hmm... maybe I should stop narrating everything that happens and just live in the moment.  Miss Dashwood and her not-so-little-anymore brother Jerry are living in the moment!

To say I'm having a hard time believing that you're eight now would be an understatement.  Great Gatsby, this is your ninth year! This is the big leagues! And I guess this means I can't call you Teeny any more. Oh, you don't like that, do you? It hurts your feelings?  Sorry.  But at any rate, today on your birthday (or the day we're calling your birthday) I'm going to embarrass you by publicly telling the world just how glad I am that you're my brother.  I wanna get to the story of our relationship, the evolution of mere siblings to friends.  It's gonna make you cry... so listen up, lunch box.

On the day you were born, I was in complete shock.  Because, hello.  A BROTHER?  In a family formerly composed of four girls, a mommy and a daddy?  What on earth would we do with a boy?  (Don't get me wrong: I was thrilled to hold you for the first time, little guy.  But I still couldn't believe you weren't a fifth sister.)  The question, as I began to discover later on, was not what we would do with you, but what you would do with us.

Over the last eight years, you've made your presence known in this family. And we're a kajillion times the better for it.  You're our firecracker, the one who runs instead of walking, shouts instead of talking, tried to be born three months too early (I'm so thankful we didn't lose you!), the one who's so adorable that sometimes we can't take you seriously.  You've got moxie, kid.

You've taught me that you simply can't make pizza without blaring Disney music as loud as possible (and singing along... also as loud as possible.  LET'S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS TO DEFEAT THE HUNS!). You've taught me the fun of spontaneity, the importance of taking little moments here and there (okay, everywhere) to just be crazy.  After all, you and I live in the United States of Don't Touch That Thing Right There In Front of You.  Which means we're Americans, and we don't plan.  We DO.

You've taught me more than I ever wanted to know about cars and trains, about Legos and Tonka trucks.  You've reminded me time and again to not be afraid to be amused by things, to throw back your head and laugh even when no one else thinks anything's funny.  You've taught me that everyone has different strengths and talents, that some people learn to ride two-wheelers at the age of four and still struggle with memorizing a single line for a play when they're older.  You've taught me that no matter how often you see your favorite movie, it's just as special the eightieth time around, when everyone around you is falling asleep and you're still avidly watching and laughing your head off.  You've taught me that somebody's gotta pay--pay for what?--I don't know, just PAY! It's Manifest Destiny!

You've taught me that a little boy is so much more than just "a noise with dirt on it," as people like to say.  You've taught me that gentleness and compassion come in all shapes and sizes, that being the world's greatest rough-houser only increases the strength of your hugs. You may be small, snack shack, but your heart is large... metaphorically speaking.  You've taught me that no two people can ever be exactly alike, but that despite a gap of ten years and many differing interests, you and I can be absolutely awesome friends.  You've taught me that the key to happiness is found not in physical exercise, but in love.

Some other folks might be a little bit smarter than I am 
Bigger and stronger too, maybe
But nobody's ever gonna love you the way I do
Just me and you, boy
And as the years go by our friendship will never die
You'll see it's our destiny
'Cause you've got a friend in me.

Oh, and one more thing before I close... you may be a Snackyvore that eats snacks and treats, but MOM SAID NO SNACKS.  It's a FACT.



Kiri Liz said...

Happy Birthday, Jerry!!

I know just what it's like to suddenly get a baby brother after only having sisters... only in my family we had three girls before one brother... and then we had two more sisters later. I don't understand people who don't care for their brothers, because brothers are swell. Yes, they are more than just noise with dirt on it! :D

Hayden said...

Last line made me laugh.

Seriously, your little brother is two days younger than mine- Joey had his eight birthday the 7th of this month. It's so sad when the baby of the family is so big.... *sob* It's a FAAAACCCT!

I wish your brother a very happy (slightly late) birthday!

Melody said...

Well, maybe you made a lucky escape with him not being a fifth sister... who knows, it might have ended up being a Lydia.

Happy birthday, Jerry!

Mal said...

Happy birthday!
This is so sweet :) And I love all the movie references :)
-mal :)

Alexandra said...

Awwww, happy birthday! I think he would get along FAMOUSLY with our know we need to meet IRL someday Very Soon. :)

Emily said...

Haha! Yes, well, we had 4 four girls and then a boy came along, and just recently we got another boy! (love them to bit - most of the time ;-))


Miss Melody Muffin said...

Happy Birthday, Jerry!!!!!

What a terrific tribute Amy!! I have a younger brother this age and know the joy they can bring, the laughter and the fun craziness. You did a great job of capturing it in this post.

Miss Elizabeth Bennet said...

Happy Birthday, Jerry! Hope he had a great birthday! :-)

Holly said...

Happy birthday to your brother! What a sweet thing to write, Amy...I'm sure he'll appreciate reading this in later years, if not at the present moment :)
YES, and I know what it feels like to have a baby brother, after three girls for me, it was...very interesting and strange, but so worth it! :)

Molly said...

Happy Birthday Jerry! I love you, big boy! I would say little boy but he isn't really that any more.

Marie said...

Happy birthday Jerry!!! Loved the Night at the Museum references!!! Also the Legos...yes, I can relate. I wonder just how many teenage girls know what the Ultrasonic Raider is? Or that the original City policeman is so rare now that he only comes in hundred-dollar sets? (I made that last one up, actually...)

Mykaela said...

Ok, wait, is that "Mom said no snacks..." thing from Kid History???!!! If not, it sounds like it. I LOVE Kid History!! Ok, sorry. Happy Birthday to Jerry! Tell him I said great job on memorizing One Day More...I haven't even done that yet! :)

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday!

I hope you had a good one Jerry!

Thank you Amy I loved this post!
AND A Candy Baw!!!


Margaret Hale said...

Happy birthday to Jerry! This was such a sweet post. And the Night at the Museum references were hilarious.

jennna said...

Oh how i love your blog, will surely follow your blog can't wait for your next post! I love drama too :)