eight years old – down by the river was the best place you could be

 I’ve been oddly nostalgic today.  I’m not really sure why, but it is happening so I’ve decided to go with it, see where it takes me.
Most of you know that I have an older brother.  Two and a half years my senior, my brother was always my biggest rival and confidante at the same time.  We raised all sorts of heck together as kids.  He suckered me into a lot of probably dangerous things in our childhood, things that I look back on now as some of the dumbest things I did as a child.  He got me into a lot of trouble with our parents, his motto was always, “send the cute one.”  So whenever we were up to something, he would send me in because of course, I was the baby of the family, I could do no wrong.  He always thought of me as the little princess that could melt my parents hearts with one smile.  I always thought this was absurd.  I was no princess and I was never spoiled, he made it all up in his head.  (well, probably not, he was probably right).
But growing up as the little sister to a big brother has it’s drawbacks.  Without a big sister to teach you how to be a girl you’re stuck playing in creeks with frogs, knowing how to throw the perfect spiral and knowing how to tackle someone twice your size.  You become better at Super Mario Brothers than painting your nails, better at applying eye black than eye liner and better at wearing sneakers that are too big than high heels that are too big.
Since becoming an adult I’ve retrospectively learned most of these things that I never learned as a kid.  I’ve even held onto those skills that he taught me too.  But sometimes I look at my life, the things I love to do and I can draw a line straight back to my brother (and my dad).  I look at who I am and think about how it occurred.  I still have that wild sense of adventure instilled by my older brother.  I still love sports.  I’m still oddly fascinated by frogs.  I am still the little sister to a big brother.
Even though that big brother is all grown up now with two little girls of his own.  And this little sister lives 1200 miles away from him, in a grad program neither one of us would have imagined for me.  It’s funny to think back to where we’ve come from in order to see why we’ve become who we’ve become.
The picture above, of course, shows my brother and I in matching Ghostbusters sweatshirts.  I mean, duh.

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