No really, it’s fine that my brother is the favorite. Tom is just fundamentally better than I am and if I were my parents I would like him more too. In honor of his birthday this week I’ve put together a top ten list of reasons why he deserves the title. (Merm and Pop, if you really do love us both equally that’s very nice but also confusing and this might convince you otherwise.)
1. Of the two of us, Tom has always been the more capable human. Growing up, when our family had parties at our house Tom’s job was to hook up the stereo system so our yard had surround sound coverage. My job was to put signs on the garbage cans for Trash and Recycling. I was three years older but this was all I was trusted with. And my parents weren’t wrong.
2. My brother lives in the land of surprises. Once he flew home from Atlanta to visit my mom for Mother’s Day as a surprise. He surprised me by flying in for my grad school graduation. He has also surprise adopted a dog from Tennessee and surprise bought a house. When I get a text from Tom it is equally likely that it’s about the Patriots game or to give me a heads up that he’s moving to Portugal tomorrow to search for a buried treasure. The kid will keep you on your toes.
3. Because he did this to his hair for longer than anyone should have and if that doesn’t deserve extra love I don’t know what does.
4. The blank stare. Growing up he never did it. If I was in trouble I would silently blank stare at my mother while she got increasingly angrier, with one memorable exception. Now that my two year old blank stares me on occasion I understand the fury it causes. Adolescent Tom used a different strategy and he and Merm would yell back and forth at each other for 5 minutes and then the problem was solved and everyone hugged it out. Merm reminds me about how much more annoying I was to deal with than my brother at least twice a fiscal year.
5. Tom lives across the country and he flies home so often it’s like he lives next door. The prodigal son always returns, and banks a lot of airline rewards points. (Not complaining, keep doing that please and thank you.)
6. Growing up the local paramedics not only knew Tom by name but also carried around a couple pints of his blood type just in case. I was a relatively frequent flyer myself, but he set “getting injured in bizarre ways” records. So my parents love him more because there were more opportunities for heart to heart chats in ER waiting rooms. There’s something to be said for convenience.
7. He was a cuter baby than I was. It’s just a fact.
8. Tom’s job is to help patients who have suffered traumatic spinal cord injuries rebuild their lives. Just writing that gives me chills. My job is great, but come on… Someone will probably name a building after him someday while I’ll still be walking around saying “No, it’s Rebecca with two “c’s”… like the normal way…”
9. He had more chill than I did as a teen. Like WAY more. While I was a nervous wreck stress eating Uncle Ben’s Rice Bowls as I ran between practices and club meetings, he was happily drinking a Mountain Dew in the basement realizing that high school was not the end all and be all of life. He was actually really involved in activities too. He just wasn’t insane about it.
10. He’s just a great dude. Probably the most compassionate, friendliest, kindest person you could ever hope to meet. Meanwhile I am searching my computer for pictures of him with bad hair. Game, set, match. Tom wins.
This list took ten minutes to write which means there are at least a dozen more reasons my parents could site. That should make me feel sort of badly about myself since many of these things were totally in my control, but mostly it just makes me really proud to be his sister. So here’s to Tom, and to hoping that Jack and Norah make it harder for me and Glen to choose the favorite in a few years. (I’ll give you guys a hint, cleaning the bathroom would put you at a huge advantage.)
Happy Birthday, Thomas Broseph.
With the love of a sister and the sad realization that he’s probably funnier than I am too,
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