Friday, November 16, 2007

To Sid, With Love

Today is my brother Sid’s 26th birthday. I can always his age by subtracting three years from mine. We are exactly 361 days apart, and my own birthday is coming up in four days.

My earliest memory of my brother is when he was one or two years old. I pretended he was my younger sister and put lipstick on him while we were alone in my parent’s bedroom. I don’t know if he remembers this incident but I will say this: he made a really cute girl. A cute little Japanese girl with creamy alabaster skin and short hair. When my brother was younger his skin and hair were very light, and sometimes I doubted that we even came from the same family. Perhaps a Japanese family lost their baby while visiting the Philippines??

I also remember fighting over a credenza that we shared. The credenza had drawers down the middle and two toddler-sized closets on each side. One closet door had a cute teddy bear painted on it and the other door had a cute little bunny painted on it. Of course it mattered to both of us which closet door we were assigned, and of course we both wanted the same one: the teddy bear. I wanted the teddy bear because I thought it was a girl; my little brother wanted the teddy bear because he thought it was a boy. After a long debate about the bear’s gender – the teddy bear did have big curly eyelashes (which to me meant the bear was a girl) but was wearing a blue ribbon around its neck (which to my brother meant the bear was a boy) – my mom made me give the teddy bear closet to my brother because I was older. I got the stupid bunny with a yellow ribbon around its neck.

Of course, not all my childhood memories of my brother involved me giving up something; there were fun times too. Once when I was eleven years old and we were living in a townhouse in South San Francisco, my brother got this bright idea to use a sleeping bag as a sled, which we used to slide down the (carpeted) stairs. We’d get inside the sleeping bag, pull it all the way up to our chins, then launch ourselves from the top of the stairs. We tried different configurations with the sleeping bag-slash-sled: individual, double, triple. My favorite was the triple, when my brother, sister, and I all got into the sleeping bag and slid down the stairs together. We had fun like this for hours.

Now my brother is a tall, handsome man, a far cry from the scrawny boy who had a hard time gaining weight and had braces and acne during his teenage years. Now he’s the most stylish guy I know and owns more clothes than me (and that is saying a LOT).

To my handsome and stylish brother – Happy Birthday! May you have many more wonderful years to come.

1 comment:

Ate Sha said...

It's funny that I remember those good times! I remember he dresser, the flight of stairs in your old townhouse-those were the good ol' days! My best memory of Sid was when he was about 4 or 5 years old. We were all living under the same roof in Westlake. It was winter and Sid wanted to go to school with 5 layers of jackets-literally 5 jackets! Of course your mom wouldn't let him go to school like that but it was funny and it will forever be in my memory bank.