Today is my brother’s 27th birthday.
[Goofballs in Chicago, 2009]
I have blurry memories of the day Chris was born, visiting him and my mom at the hospital. My understanding was that she had produced a baby purely for my entertainment (a doll in real life!), and I was very excited to meet my new present. Once he was at home and folks started visiting, I told everyone who walked through the door to NOT touch “my baby,” in what I assume was a very sassy 3-year-old voice.
Honestly, his newness wore off quickly, and I spent the next decade teasing Chris and dragging him out of my room when my friends were over; he spent it hitting me on the back of the head with a light-up, plastic sword my parents bought him at the Ringling Brothers circus that came through Houston in 1991. The off-and-on nature of our relationship is one that I’m sure most brother-sister siblings have endured. Luckily, ours evaporated a few years later, and I finally understood I could – gasp! – be friends with my brother.
Chris and I spent one year together in high school, when he was a freshman, and I was a senior. He had joined the cross country team, and I was the editor of our high school yearbook, so we drove into school each morning around 6:00 a.m. for our respective extracurricular time. The soundtrack of those dark, foggy mornings include Norah Jones, O.A.R., John Mayer, Dashboard Confessional, and a bunch of other artists and bands, some of which are still our favorites, some of which are now extremely embarrassing to acknowledge.
Happy birthday to my brother, a guy who is kind, caring, and fiercely intelligent… someone who is so attuned to both current events and cultural references that he’s easily the most interesting person in the room… and a HUGE reason why I was so happy when we found out our child-to-be was a boy. If Baby Naumann is half as awesome as his uncle, we’re in for another great present.