My brother Tim and I were born nine years apart to the day. This is a letter I wrote to him recently in commemoration.
There are some things you might not know about the day of your birth and the days leading up to the day of your birth because you were busy developing and being born and stuff. I, however, know a few things because I was eight and then I was nine. These are my memories.
I was an undercover spy when I was eight. I knew where to look for top-secret goods…In Mom’s top dresser drawer. You know the drawer. The one with the Twizzlers and chips, the nightgowns and underwear and all manner of confidential things. That one.
One snowy afternoon in January 1977, my sleuthing turned up a home pregnancy test. I knew a few things about pregnancy tests by the time I was eight. I determined that this one was positive. I just couldn’t decide if this test was for a baby to come or for one of the previous six who were now running around the house. You know how Mom saves things. Turns out it announced a baby to come…in June.
"On my birthday, Mom and he’s going to be a boy."
"Well the baby is due around the 17th and there’s the chance we could have a Molly."
Mom was always angling for a Molly. But I knew with her track record for boys there was NO POSSIBLE WAY you were going to be a girl. I did not know that you were a genie who would grant this almost nine-year-old princess the birthday of her dreams.
Sure enough. I came downstairs on June 24th to find Mom up to her eyeballs in stacks of laundry and lavender cupcakes. This was the big day. Kids and clothes were parceled out amongst kindhearted volunteers. I have no idea where anyone else ended up. All I know is that Sarah and I and the lavender cupcakes went to Timmy Hipskind’s house. This stands out because in third grade, I was IN LOVE with Timmy Hipskind.
While you were busy being born and stuff, I was staring across the dinner table at Timmy Hipskind with big moony eyes and drinking soda and watching TV…lots and lots of TV because you know we were television deprived.
After a day or two, I got sick of Timmy and turned my attentions to his two-wheeler. I learned to ride a bike that week in the flat, flat subdivision where he lived. I was so proud!
Then you came home and so did we. Home to the gravel driveway and rolling hills. And so, my bike riding days came to an abrupt end. I was happy to welcome you into our family but I sure was sad to say goodbye to Timmy and his soda and his bike.
Happy Birthday, Tim!