Today* is a great day because, instead of sitting at my receptionist desk, I’m flying way down South too see my little brother, Pandito. I only get to see Pandito a couple of times a year, unfortunately, so this is a very exciting trip. He is in fancy law school and he is fancy within it. He is also awesome outside of his professional and academic successes. Our parents only allowed 30 minutes of television a day until we were in middle school and our mother’s favorite expression is “Only boring people are bored”, the combination of which forced us to use our imaginations and find creative ways to entertain ourselves (an early example of allowing hardship to be thrust upon us in order to build character). Pandito and I have been creating hilarity together since he was three months old and our nanny left the bars down on his crib.
We invented a game when we eight and five, respectively, called Tennisbase: Four bases and some of the same rules as baseball, but with tennis racquets and balls (in case you were wondering, we are WASPs). The ball goes a lot farther with a lot less effort. The added bonus is that I have the hand-eye coordination of a blind T-rex, so it nice to increase the surface area of the hitting instrument.
The out-of-the-park nature of Tennisbase wasn’t a problem for us because we had the longest backyard I have ever seen outside of a farm. There was a whole grassy area with trees and a swing set and then an additional natural area for our dog’s house, a tool shed and a bamboo forest (ironic, isn’t it?). Once, when Pandito and I were exploring in the bamboo, we found a bunch of old, half decayed pots that I’m pretty sure were part of the Underground Railroad, but our mom wouldn’t let us bring them in the house because they were too dirty.
There have been a lot of reality shows and magazine and newspaper articles recently about siblings. Theresa and Joe can’t get along on the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Time Magazine tells us that you’re either your parent’s favorite, or you aren’t. Man, who didn’t stop and take a long look at his or her childhood when you saw that cover? But my favorite article of late was a New York Times book review discussing how siblings
shape each other’s entire lives because you are the only two (or 19, if you’re a Duggar) people who know exactly what it was like to have your parents, on your block, in your state at that point in history. The shared experiences are greater at a more formative time than any that you could possibly have as an adult. I know how lucky I am to not only get along with, but to enjoy and feel so proud of my brother. Maybe this weekend we’ll figure out how to make Tennisbase into a drinking game….
*Editor’s note: This post was written on Friday, but not posted until now because Continental Airlines charges for Internet at their terminals. That grants them an eyebrow raise of judgment from me.