Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Today is my little brother's birthday. I'm not sure why I still refer to him as my little brother. I mean, we are adults and all. Both of us parents to other people these days.

But he's my little brother now and forever.

I guess you don't ever outgrow that.

This past year has been one of highs and lows for us all, for him even more. Coupled with everything we've collectively been through, he also became a father for the very first time. Fatherhood is a journey he is just beginning, but he seems to be enjoying the ride so far.

I thought that instead of writing gooey sentimental things about how much I love my brother (though they are true, don't get me wrong), I thought maybe I'd write something else. He's not the gooey sentimental type anyway.

Over the past weekend, my husband was fighting with the door handle for the bathroom. It seems that the handles installed on our home are universally defective. None of the locks work. Ever.

He was fiddling with it, trying to get the lock mechanism to engage. I asked him why he suddenly cared so much about getting them to work. We've been in this house for close to five years, and they've never worked before.

But then I figured that maybe, just maybe, he was doing it to preserve the privacy of the kids. Aidan at least is getting to the age where he doesn't want to be interrupted while in the bathroom. The girls still mostly don't care, but he does. And the girls know that he does. And they have already started torturing their brother the way I used to do to mine.

They open the door when he's sitting there, pondering the universe, and laugh at him. He yells at them to close the door. They point and giggle. He flails his arms helplessly towards the wide open doorway. It works best upstairs in the kid's bathroom. It's all about proximity of the toilet to the door and how long the arms of the sitter are.

To my little brother (who swore to me he wouldn't read this anymore, but I know that he will), Happy Birthday.

I'm pretty sure this is an old Irish birthday blessing...

May your arms be long enough to shut the door

Love you.

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