Are We There Yet?

Happy National Siblings Day! Since our days of holding each other’s barf bags, flying back and forth between Air Force bases in the Dakotas and Korea, we got to learn a lot of life’s lessons together. On family vacations, we were introduced to important cultural nuances, like differences between the manta and stingray, mini golf versus putt putt, and that you can’t stowaway a bucket of live clams in the trunk from Florida all the way back to Illinois to be your pets, even if you pack them in water and sand. #hotstinkingtrunkofhalfbakedclams We survived years as unaccompanied minors, going it alone pre/post 9/11, when no one carried a cellphone or cared if a couple of brats made it to their final destination. You always followed alongside, patiently sweating bullets, as I worked out countless trials and rookie errors, navigating insane connecting flights and human trafficking threats for the both of us in impossible airports like LAX.—Just look at us now! Still alive, and both over 30! We explored and made Hawaii home all those summers and holidays, learning how to camp, cope, hike, swim, and be, during growing pains and daydreams of drowning each other and blaming it on the riptide, or pushing each other off a ridge line, if only for the sweet satisfaction of a moment’s peace alone on a mountain (or anywhere) for once. At the same time, for every candid photo I took of you building one of your epic sandcastles, you thought to capture one of me actually catching a wave. The countless nights cramped in the same bed, tent, cot; that stale fruit loop continental breakfast life, to five-star, five-course Michelin meals. We got to discover our tastes for cannolis and cappuccinos in the North End and fine-tune our Boston accents over our first pints of Guinness in Cambridge together. Not to mention meeting the Clydesdales, watching Mark McGuire hit a home run out of Old Busch, and all the trips to the Arch, Science Center, Art Museum, and Zoo. Even though you had no choice for most of it, I’m grateful to share all our adventures in this crazy beautiful life, with you, little brother.

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