Friday, October 7, 2005

He's Actually Pretty Average-Sized

I have a little brother who got married last year and this autumn he started his first teaching job. He's a very smart guy and an amazing musician. He's cute, cute, cute, and I used to keep a picture of him in my Franklin Planner until about twenty coworkers asked me if he was my boyfriend. Eew. So I replaced it with a really flattering picture of my sister and brother at my grad school graduation. Then my boss saw it and said, "Is that your brother? Those two make a really cute couple." Double eew. Anyway, yesterday he wrote an e-mail to me that said school is going well, but he's stressed and overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork that is stuffed in his briefcase.

My brother. Has. A briefcase.

Not a lunch pail full of matchbox cars, or a sack of color crayons. Not a plastic silver sword that he holds above his head while yelling, "BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL . . ." (At least I don't think so.) Not a silky yellow *blankie* that he rubs while sucking his fingers. And it's not a dirt-caked backpack with his name written on masking tape on the back so it doesn't get taken by some other day care kid. It's a briefcase. I can't believe it. I think maybe he's grown up.

There are three of us, and my sister and I are about ten years older than the wee brother so we really got to watch him grow up. This means that we have lots of memories of his younger years and a lot of material with which to torture him.

Time for a little vocab lesson, folks.

Lapkins: Everybody knows lapkins, right? They're used to wipe your hands and mouth while eating, and they go (where?) on your lap.

Fai-ja-ions: The red ones that go speeding down the street with their loud sirens on their way to put out flames.

Garber Men: The guys who come by every Tuesday morning at 7:00 to pick up (the what?) the garber.

It's gotta be a bit of a bummer to be 25 and not be able to eat a meal without an older sister asking if you need a lapkin. He's definitely paid his dues, (dude - mums the word on the fur coat, make up, and CoCo Channel glasses), but sometimes it's hard to think of him as anything but the three month old with the puking problem or the six year old with his pants pulled up to his armpits. It's just that there's so much love in every lapkin, sometimes I think my heart might burst.

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