Thursday, January 27, 2011

Irish Twins (to my brother)

Some definitions
--Irish Twins: a term used to describe two children born to the same mother in the same calendar year or within twelve months of each other.
--Originally a derogatory term associated with Irish immigration to the US and England in the 1800s, implying that large groups of close-in-age siblings were "the result of uneducated, poor Irish Catholic families."
--My older brother Matt and I.

We were born in different years, but are the same age for 9 days. When you're a kid, that feels like a long time, and I admit, being the younger of the two means you make even more of that. It's MORE THAN A WHOLE WEEK! Sometimes I was probably a real pain about it, checking to see how close I was in height to my brother, trying to do everything that he could, or announcing to people that we were both 8 years old, etc.

But I feel like I got the good end of it all. Instead of being annoyed at me and trying to prove himself to be infinitely superior, Matt was one of my best friends and also definitely my big brother as we grew up. As peers close in age, we shared friends, books and chores (endless dishes, weeding races in the garden, stacking hay, chasing cows). We got into trouble together and were in the same school books most of the time (although I learned to read quicker and he was better at Math), and played hundreds of games together. As my big brother, he taught me to ride a bike (the same day he learned how), let me ride behind his saddle on April, took me to get my driver's licence, and showed me how to waltz. I'm not sure how much I have done in return... I did have an especially close friend who ended up being the girl he asked to marry, but I can't really take any credit for that happy event; we just happen to have the same good judgment, and God had the same idea we did.

Tomorrow Matt is once again (officially) a year older than me. Happy birthday! Hope you get to have a good rare steak and a beer as you celebrate!