When I was one month shy of nine years old, my littlest brother was born. I fell instantly in love with him. He was the first person in all the world I knew I would die for; I remember very distinctly feeling the weight of that burden so young – knowing that this person means more to me than I mean to myself. Obviously, that’s not meant to disparage the love I have for my brother, The Middle Child, who is much closer in age to me. I adore him and we grew up thick as thieves, blowing things up and melting the faces off of Barbie dolls. I love The Middle Child and am insanely jealous of his olive skin and artistic talent and political genius. However, there was such an age difference between me and The Baby and I was such an insufferably mature child, that the reality of how young and helpless The Baby was made me take our relationship very seriously. I have always felt extremely maternal towards him.
The Middle Child, The Baby and I had lots of adventures, most of which involved dressing The Baby up in our great-grandparents’ hand-knit sweaters and caps, and calling him Ms. Marmalade, and directing him to hobble around the house like an old woman while we filmed him on my parents’ ancient video camera. We did that for about three full years. Our town was pretty small.
As The Baby grew up, it became obvious that he was the most intelligent and thoughtful and adorable of all of us. How he managed that with siblings like us (I once thought nothing of letting him watch The Silence of the Lambs with me when he was five), I will never understand. It is a testament to how great he is.
The Baby is now a high school senior and applied to college last fall. He’s been collecting acceptances from all over the country for months now, which is a surprise to approximately no one. He just found out today that he got into UCLA, and I am so, so excited for him. (And so, so sad for me – I got my college acceptances nine years ago, when letters still came in the mail and you didn’t find out you got into your dream school by checking your email on your cell phone. In other words, I’m a fossil.)
Dear Baby Brother: from the bottom of my heart, congratulations on kicking so much ass. I am SO PROUD. Please support me when you are a doctor. Also, I hope someday you can forgive me for publishing this on the internet.
I love you!