December 12, 2014
My brother Per was six years old when I first met him. Now, understandably, I don’t remember most of it but the rest of my earliest memories have some version of him in them and there’s so many things I’ve learned from my brother I scarcely know where to begin.
The art of filling dinner napkins with gross food like eggs and peas and sneaking it into the bathroom to flush it down the toilet without getting mom and dad suspicious was probably the first thing I learned.
Second, and this one is now a super paranoid pet peeve of mine, is not to leave glasses on the floor by sofas. Some of you may be thinking, huh, that’s a weirdly specific thing to be paranoid about, but once you watch your older brother slice clear through his Achilles tendon you’ll completely understand the need to never see that again. Besides, he totally made us miss going to the pool that day.
Per taught me how to burp. I’m not sure this deserves its own spot so we’ll put it at lesson number 2.5 but anyways, projecting is key.
Third, soccer. I played from when I was six to twenty-one and during our time in Texas I mostly stuck with it because all my brothers played soccer. Per would pick me up from soccer practice, we would play volley soccer and four-square soccer with our other brothers, and when per was training we would all go and “train” too. I remember watching Per juggle the ball forever. I could tell when he was starting to get tired because he would start kicking the ball higher to get more of a break but he did get a some ridiculous record of juggling that, to my 10 year old brain, was at least 700.
He tried to teach me to snowboard – “go to the top, when you get to the bottom come find me at the lodge, try not to break your wrist like Bergen”. It didn’t go well but at least I limped away with all my bones intact, lets call that 3.5.
Fourth, he taught me the subtle practice of mind control. From an early age he got us playing king and servants, he being the king of course, and from that time on I’ve been just a bit more inclined to do things for him than my other brothers.
Fifth involves not letting your younger siblings attempt to shoot apples off your head but I feel like this whole birthday message may be getting away from me. I joke about all I’ve learned from my oldest (and smallest) brother but in reality he’s done more for me than even he thinks. To go through the entire list would take forever but here are some of the big ones:
Having your own ideas is good but knowing the logic behind your ideas is even better, because then you can argue them properly.
Arguing a point isn’t fighting and doesn’t have to be hostile. Some of my favorite family memories of us as adults involve all kinds of arguing.
Be honest, be yourself, be true to your life’s purpose but don’t be a butt-hole about it.
And, most importantly, always end the summer with a polar plunge!
Happy Birthday Boy Sis! You’re awesome and I love you!
– Your Martian Girl Bro