My brother Max is the only boy in our family. He is three years older than me and has been a true big brother in every sense of the word. Growing up he was probably the closest to me of all of us kids. We did not share any classes in school and really didn’t share any friends either. We did ride the same school bus one year and he got thrown off defending my honor. A boy pulled the zipper down on my dress and Max popped him right in the nose. I felt bad that he got in trouble because of me.
Max was stuck with carting me to activities with my friends. I’m sure at first he didn’t mind, because he got to drive the car. I went roller skating with my friends most Friday and Saturday nights and some Sundays. Roller skating was my little world and Max would take me to the rink. If he ever complained, I never knew it.
His approval was important to me. When I started wearing make-up he would make me wipe it off to his accepted level before I was allowed to get in his car. It became a game for me to learn how to wear it and see how much I could get away with. He kept me in line in ways my parents never could. Once he caught me skipping my Biology class and walked me to the classroom door and made me go in.
When it came time to buy my first car, I bought it from a friend of Max’s. I think he wanted the car so he convinced me to buy it. He had his own, but knew this was a sweet deal. It was a 1967 red Barracuda, convertible. I thought it was a boy’s car and I was embarrassed to drive it. Guys wanted to go out with me because they thought they could drive my car, (they couldn’t)! When we sold it, there were people in the driveway arguing over it. Dad yelled the first one with cash could have it. I sure do wish I still owned that car today. I didn’t appreciate it when I had it.
As we got older, I moved away and we lived very different lives. Today we are back in the same area and it is really nice to have a brother that is a friend too. Max has a wicked sense of humor and cares about his family a lot more than he would like anyone to know. It’s nice to see him happy and enjoying his life. It is fun watching him explore new sides of himself. He is a great cook and we are finding out that he has good taste fixing up his new home.
Today, January 29th, is Max’s birthday. Happy Birthday and thanks for being the best big brother ever. I love you.