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My brother’s a jerk, who tells good jokes. A bully, who has my back. An idiot, who has a genius IQ. A punk, but my partner in crime. He beats me at everything, even if he’s “letting me win”. A nemesis, though no one knows me better. A joke maker, name caller, wedgie puller, noogie giver, five star slapper, Charlie horse popper, door locker, head sitter, seat stealer, pokemon card conman, with a permanent dibs on the TV remote. My brother happens to be a lot of things, but at the end of the day he’s three years older, zero years wiser (as I maintain), yet I’ve learned something from everything he’s done with, or to me.

My roommate and best friend Connor and I were talking the other day about relationships, specifically those involving siblings. Even though Connor and I have been nearly inseparable the three years we’ve known each other and are without a doubt closer to each other than we are with any of our other friends, our friendship doesn’t hold a candle to how close I am with my brother Taylor.

There’s a lot of pressure and responsibility that come with being a big brother, pressure and responsibility I have never had to experience. I’m somewhat ashamed of how long it has taken me to start giving Taylor some of the credit he deserves as my older brother. After 21 years I’ve finally quit looking at my brother, and begun to look up to him.

Being a little brother isn’t necessarily easy, but I’m willing to bet it’s easier than the alternative. I mean think about it, I didn’t have any examples to set, or any unorthodox rules that got tested out on me (before being abandoned on younger siblings). All I had to do was keep my mouth shut long enough for my brother to get blamed and I was home-free.

Story time! Once upon a time in fourth grade, while I think Taylor and I were wrestling, I fell and hit my head. Darn coffee table by the couch. Needless to say I started crying. The whole thing was 100% my fault, I fell, I wasn’t pushed. I’m not kidding at all, the first thing we hear is my dad yell from upstairs “Taylor, what did you do?!”. When in doubt, it was my brother’s fault: a philosophy that worked better for one sibling than the other.

Everyone needs someone to take them down a peg or two (or twenty) when they’re getting a little full of themselves. I’m convinced that’s exactly what brothers are for, embarrassing you just when you need it. I’m also convinced that MY brother is for a lot more than just embarrassment, even though he was good at that too.

Taylor has taught me very little, but he’s showed me quite a bit. He showed me how to stand up for what is right, how to speak my mind, and how to beat the swamp level in the Scooby Doo PlayStation game. Two of which I will always be grateful for, I mean, it was a REALLY hard level.