Brothers; Why Having a Brother Rules

BrothersAs a kid, I never really thought about what having a brother meant. My relationships with my brothers were (and still are) strained for various reasons. Partly due to distance, age difference growing up, and resentment. There isn’t really anything I can do to fix these situations as I have tried and failed…miserably.

But now that I am going through my adventures in daddyhood I look at my two boys and think about what it means to have a brother and how awesome it truly is.

These are my 4 Reasons Why Having a Brother Rules! (in no particular order)

1. Built in playmate. When you have a brother, you always have someone to play with. No single player mode for you. He is always there to help you take on the bad guys so you don’t have to go it alone. He always has your back in that first person shooter. He is there to play action figures, build empires out of bricks, cushions and whatever else you can  think of. He is there to fight zombies in the back yard with you. He is always there.

2. Teacher/Student. Ever get in trouble as the first child? Ever get away with it as a second child? As a first child you often got caught doing things the second always seems to get away with. Why? Because as the first child you have become the sensei and have (unfortunately) learned all the ways to get caught. You have passed that knowledge onto your younger brother and he is now a ninja warrior. Cunning, sneaky, able to get away with things you could have only dreamed of. Thanks big brother for taking one for the team.

3. Built in Best Friend. When you are younger, you will probably not realize it, however, as you get older you will. Know one can know you as well as your brother. You get in trouble together, you play together, you argue, laugh, fight. He is someone you can and should share all of your joy and pain with. Because he has grown up knowing who you are and no one can understand you and what you go through like your brother. So enjoy it.State Fair

4. Built in Mortal Enemy. With a brother, you also have your biggest enemy. He competes with you in everything. He is the competition in sports, video games., board games, attention from your parents, attention from girls. You will learn the art of self defense from your bother. As the younger brother you will learn the art of taking a serious beating at the hands of a larger opponent. You will take this beating and keep on coming back for more. As the older brother you will learn speed and dodging are your friend as as your younger brother has learned the art of the projectile to keep you at bay.

So enjoy having a brother. He is everything you need all rolled up in one. So go out enjoy life together.Playing


Summer Vacation

Super Adventures

Best Friends

Best Friends

When I was a kid I lived in a neighborhood with lots of kids on our street and a public golf course as our back yards. I loved summer vacation as a kid. We would stay all get together and play with GI Joes, Transformers, and Matchbox cars. We would build blanket forts. Best of all we would play outside. We would play hide-and-seek, tag, monkey-on-the-middle, ride bikes, and run through the sprinklers on the golf course (between dodging golfers). We would stay outside all day until dinner time, then meet back up afterwards for more fun, until it got too dark to see. We didn’t have a worry in the world. Neither did our parents. (but that is for another time).

As I watch my kids playing video games on my phone while sitting on the porch, I hope for them to have that too. I want them to have friends that will come over and jump on our trampoline, play on our play set, play tag, other games that we invented, play make believe…just play…outside. A child’s imagination is truly amazing to watch in action and I don’t want them to be crippled by the technology that we use so prevalently as parents and society. I want them to be able to have fun with what is around them. I want them to be able to figure out something to do when the power goes out. I want them to just be kids for as long as possible.

So lets get out there, have some fun and show our kids how to be kids. After all, children learn by example.


Old Friends

Old Alliescalvinhobbes_friendsRecently I had the opportunity to meet up with friends I haven’t seen in some time. One was a sidekick who I hadn’t seen in several months (and protects her daughters nearby Johnson City) and one was a crime fighting friend I hadn’t seen in many, many years (he takes care of the citizens in a city far away). We hadn’t seen each other since we were up and coming super heros at a children’s camp while we were in high school.

These two separate encounters got me thinking about what friendship truly is. I have never really had a lot of friends, and I like it that way. It is a lot less messy that way. But I also realize, I do like having friends. Someone other then your significant other in which to have conversations with. But getting together with these friends showed me that we don’t necessarily need people in our lives every minute of every day to have meaningful friendships.

When I met with the friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time, it was like we were never out of each others life. While we didn’t know the specifics of everything the other was up to, we were able to talk and laugh like we did when we were younger. To me that is what true friendship is: being able to pick up where you left off like it was only five minutes ago, even if it was almost 20 years ago that you last saw each other.

So, to all the people who I can call true friends, I say thank you. Thank you for being my friend, thank you for being my sidekick. Thank you for being you. And most importantly thank you for putting up with me, and thinking about me even if it has been a very long time. I know I think about you all the time.