Happy Birthday, Fathead!
Today is my brother’s birthday. His name is Josh. I call him Fathead.
Growing up, Fathead and I didn’t always have the best relationship. ok- I hated him. From the instant he came home from the hospital it was rumored that I picked him up out of the crib and dropped him on the floor.
Oh yea- and that time that I kicked him down the stairs.
And nearly cut off his fingers with hedge clippers….
And… ok. you get the point.
But I (mostly) did all this because I was the big sister and he was the annoying younger brother who wanted to be exactly like me. He wore my cool over-shirts, he would invite himself to my pool parties, he stole my halloween candy, he wanted to learn to ride a bike like me! Guh! Annoying, right? How dare he!
This continued until I moved out and went to college (uni). Then he grew into his own self and I was less suffocated from the small town I lived in. He developed his own taste, friends, style and I finally saw him as a (gasp!) cool human being- not just a pest that is my younger brother.
Confession: Actually, he was way cooler than me. His parties were renowned and full of #winning AND #tigerblood- before it was even cool!
Now growing up with Fathead wasn’t all that bad. We tag-teamed-tortured my parents, played a lot of cards, built snow forts, put on plays, went to camp together, caught crayfish in the creek, watched a lot of TV and movies together… You know, normal stuff.Actually, the term “fathead” is from an old Bill Nye episode where they explained that 80% of your brain is fat– so technically, we’re all fatheads (fathead!).
Last year I had this great thought of going to Melbourne during their winter (America’s summer). I thought it would be “a nice change of weather” from the balmy tropics that I had been living in for 7 months prior. I was right in that regard: it was a change! But I suffered greatly for it with my seasonal depression and the whole lack of sun thing. Looking back at my journal- it was some of the most emotionally miserable months of my life that I had to force myself to be pulled from. You get the picture: it was a really rough time for me. In my last attempt at some sort of normalcy, I started emailing everyone I knew- including my brother.
He was one of the only ones that wrote back. And I’m forever grateful for this.
Apparently we had a lot to talk about- because this correspondence went on for months! We hashed out everything (ALL THE FEELS!) over epic-long emails: Girls, boys, freak outs, mistakes, lessons learned, thoughts of death, thoughts of the future, hopes, dreams, theater productions, “this one time I got drunk off goon”… you name it!
It was probably some of the best times I had in Australia was getting to know my brother- who was 16 time-zones away. I guess that phrase “distance makes the heart grow fonder” really *IS* true, because I can’t imagine my life without him.
Happy Birthday, Fathead. Thank you for being an amazing human being that I look (physically down, mentally up) to.