Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sibling Revelry

Chip and I, circa 1980.

I have been blessed with many super, great, amazing, wonderful (insert every happy adjective here) friends in my life, but over time I have realized that the best of them all is the one my parents gave me when I was 19 months old... my little brother.

Growing up, people were constantly amazed that we got along so well. Some even asked if we were twins because we shared a special sibling bond. It didn't matter if I had hair like a boy or teeth like Laura Ingalls Wilder, he was always right there by my side, a friend through it all.

When I spend time with Chip, I can totally be myself at a completely different comfort level than I can be at with anyone else. There are no secrets, nothing to hide - because he already knows it all. I can bring up topics from kids to food to education to poverty to shopping and he takes it all in with complete interest. I never have to watch what I say or worry about offending him. If he or I bring up a topic that the other doesn't care to discuss, we can say so and move on with no hurt feelings.

Because we were raised in the same environment, the same culture, we agree on most things. And who doesn't like someone who agrees with them most of the time?

Chip is also one of the only people I am comfortable crying in front of. He's seen my ugly, scrunched up, blotchy red crying face and it doesn't faze him one iota.

We laugh, we cry, we sing, we dance. We get animated and talk with our hands when we're passionate about something. We know the words to every theme song and commercial jingle from the late 70's and early 80's and feel perfectly justified in random acts of performing them for and with each other.

Best of all, I can let out a nice belch after downing a carbonated beverage and he doesn't even blink. I mean, we used to have contests in that regard when growing up, so big whoop if one slips out in the middle of a conversation. If it's a really spectacular one, I may even be complimented with a casual, "Nice one!" before the banter continues.

(Not that I ever burp anymore. But if I did, that's how it would probably be...)

Regardless of any of that, the point of all this was simply to say that I could not ask for a better brother and friend.

And for that, I count myself as lucky.

Happy birthday, little brother. I have always been proud to be known as "Chip's Sister."


Corine said...

That is SO sweet, Gerb!

Thank God for siblings... some of life's greatest treasures and friends! :D

rorymckm said...

that's adorable! happy birthday, chip! way to show us all how sibling relationships are SUPPOSED to be! :)

Rebecca said...

*Sniff, Sniff*

A little brother...I wonder what that's like...

I'll never know, and neither will any of my daughters.

You make it sound pretty nice, though.

Teachinfourth said...

Glad you have such a great resource-n-brother. Siblings can be a real treasure, can't they?

I remember a line from, "Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen" which goes like this:

Get to know your parents.
You never know when they'll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings.
They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

How true these words are...

Kimm said...

Thanks! Now I have to try to interpret phone calls with tears in my eyes!! What a great relationship! I hope the same for my little ones!!

Gina said...

You are both super lucky. Happy birthday Chip!

Mom not Mum said...

You are lucky - I always feel bad for those that are not close with their siblings.

Richard & Natalie said...

Such a nice post.
Sometimes we go out into the world in search of friends only to find we left the best ones at home.
You both are very lucky indeed.

sue-donym said...

"I can totally be myself at a completely different comfort level than I can be at with anyone else".

Thank you for saying that. I always felt that I was the only one who feels that way ( but with my mom). I have always felt before like that was wrong somehow.

I'm glad you have that with your brother. He sound awesome.

lakerbrat said...


Growing up with you two, I always admired how close you two always were. There was never any jealousy or competition you hung out with the same friends were friends. I know from my own personal relationships with my own brother and sister, we all by your example. Thank you Gerberta for sharing your thoughts and memories and feelings about chip so openly. It truly opened my eyes and got me thinking about my own personal relationships. You are truly a blessing!
Take care

Anaise said...

Happy birthday to Chip!

I really like that picture of the two of you when you were little--the affection is just dear.

Cami said...

Growing up, I always wanted a brother. You make it sound wonderful. Hopefully my girls will someday have a brother and know what it is like. I can only hope they will have a relationship like you and Chip.

P.S. That was NOT an announcement of any kind.