Thursday, August 27, 2009

Aren’t You Brendan’s sister?

Old habits die hard.

Smoking. Which I don’t.

Swearing. Which I do.

Competing with your siblings and always wanting to win.  Check.

I spent the weekend in NJ visiting my parents.  They live on a lake, and the kids love swimming, tubing and fishing off the dock.

My sneakers made the trip with me, my resolve being to jog 2 miles once during the weekend.  I brought my bathing suit as well, in case Lucas wanted to go in.  I was really hoping not to have to wear it.

I love water.  Love to swim.  Love pools.  Like the ocean. 

Lakes.  Not so much.

Now I have two awesome brothers.  When we lived on Governors Island, my brother Brendan was like---a social butterfly on steroids.  He knew everyone.  He talked to everyone.   It got to the point where I would meet people at the baseball field,  or at the bowling alley—and they would say to me “Aren’t you Brendan’s sister"?”

“Ummm, no, he’s MY brother”.   What  oldest child wants to be defined by their LITTLE brother?

Yeah, me neither.

So as much as I was not wanting to swim in the lake-of-green-slimy-seaweed, when Brendan asked me to go for a swim I did not refuse.  Mostly because I have not had an open water swim and thought it would be good practice.

But I also knew that he was a good swimmer, would be good motivation and I thought it would be fun. Also, I thought maybe I could keep up with him. 

I pretty much looked at the back of his bald lovely head the whole way, but some things never change.  No matter how old you get, you don’t want to lose to your little brother.  I would pour on the gas for a few yards, chanting in my head “He’s your little brother, don’t let him win” over and over in my head.  

It made no difference.  His head got smaller and smaller in the distance.  And I was okay with that.

Until we got out of the water and he asked his wife if she had gotten pictures.  He wanted one showing how far ahead of me he had finished.

Like I said, old habits die hard.

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