It was born 29 years ago today. I say it because up until its second birthday, we were never really sure if it was a boy or a girl. It had an angelic face, framed by lovely dark curls. Long lashes curtained its eyes, a perfect dimple depressed its little chin.
I had not been around babies that much, but I knew it was cute as babies go.
There were times that Mom was pretty convinced it was a boy. Especially on cold mornings. But the debates lasted until its second birthday, when Mom and Dad, uncles and aunts, the parish priest and the family doctor, all concurred that what we thought was just excess skin was actually its weener.
From then on, I had a brother. We got rid of the little dresses and the dolls, and threw away his baby pictures.
From then, I had a brother. I had someone to bully and to be mean to. Someone to fight with when Mom and Dad were at work, and make peace with a few hours before they got home. Someone to do my chores, and be my Robin or my Tonto. More often than not, he was simply my fall guy.
I never really knew, until some years ago, why he agreed to all of these. It was not because he is younger than me, or that he thinks I am smarter or stronger than him. It was not because he loved me more and I loved him less.
All these years, he was just covering my back.
Happy birthday, bro.
You're my brother, and I love you. But please, stop shaving your legs.
Technorati Tags: Birthday, Brothers, Robin, Tonto
Pleaded by Appellant on Thursday, November 09, 2006 @ 12:30 AM with 4 Objections