So this week is kind of a big week. No. 2 got a coveted spot in Matt Ryan’s Pro Camp. Yes, that Matt Ryan. I don’t know who’s more excited, him or me. Right after that, Nos. 2 and 3 are getting on a plane to visit their grandparents in Montana for two and a half weeks. They go every summer. While they look forward to this trip every year, my separation anxiety gets the best of me. Sure, I enjoy the quiet house for a day or two but after that I’m counting the days until they get back. But this year I have a distraction from them leaving: My brother’s birthday.
The morning that this issue hits the yellow boxes my brother will be reaching a milestone. He’s turning 40. My brother always makes a huge deal out of his birthdays. To be honest, I was always kind of jealous of it. But we have done all kinds of awesome things for his birthday. We rang in the big 3-0 in Vegas, baby! Thirty-one was spent in South Beach. We’ve been on a sort of big-birthday hiatus since then. But now, here comes 40. What kind of big birthday shenanigans do we have planned this year? I don’t know because I can’t go. As it sometimes does, being a grown up gets in the way.
It breaks my heart. My brother is my best friend in the world. My parents are to thank for that. They always stressed the importance of our relationship growing up. Sure, we fought like kids do. Actually, we still fight like teenagers. A lot. But we get over it and move on. My brother and I have been through everything you can think of and more. We enjoy the same life mantra: Work Hard, Play Hard. Many of our memories are exciting and adventurous stories that we love to share. In fact, one trip we took to a small town in Virginia was runner-up in a “Crazy Road Trip” story contest in Maxim magazine. The Miami trip that I mentioned earlier could have been a prequel to “The Hangover”! As a matter of fact, I’d love to write that screenplay. But I don’t think anyone would believe that it’s a true story.
These memories are some of the best times in my life. Not because we were living it up in whatever vacation destination. It’s because I was with my big brother, my best friend. Of the things my parents have taught me, this is probably my favorite thing. I’m doing the best to pass this lesson on to my own kids. Like my brother and me, they don’t quite understand the importance of it just yet. But my hope is that someday they’ll look back and thank us for it. Perhaps while planning a trip to Vegas for a 30th birthday or something.
As for the 40th birthday, I’ll hate to miss it. But, as I wrote a few weeks ago, sometimes the different paths our lives have taken becomes a little more apparent. I have work, family, daddy business to deal with. But I’ll be there for the aftermath and I’ll get to take him to his first meal as he kicks off his next 40 years of adventures.