Brother's Day

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It's that time of year for special days. May means Mother's Day. Father's Day is just around the corner in June.

It has me thinking about families, and who gets one special day. Since I'm from a family of four boys, I've noticed nobody celebrates Brother's Day.

Unlike parents, brothers (or sisters) will probably be around most of your adulthood. Siblings are, for better or worse, the longest relationships you'll have your entire life. And, if you survive your childhood of trying to kill each other, you may actually turn into friends as adults.

Growing up in suburban '60s California, my brothers and I taught each other useful stuff, like how to pull a death-defying bike wheelie, smash a serve at ping-pong, shoot a BB gun. We figured out how to give each other a boost to climb over the backyard fence, and a miniature golf strategy so the ball made it through the windmill's whirling arms every time.

We taught each other to ride skateboards, ski lifts, ten-speeds, that weird unicycle somebody got, and eventually how to drive cars, really drive, not like that dumb driving class in high school.


In a world without the Internet, brothers were a primitive form of Google, with information about everything. Of course, the information was often wrong, but it was better than nothing.

We grew up, and I learned to give the required just-insulting-enough best man toast at my brother's weddings. I learned if my brothers chose them, I will learn to love my sisters-in-law.

I learned standing with your brothers together is how you get through your father's funeral.

We taught each other when Mom is too frail to live alone and the time has come to move her, it's something brothers handle together.
My brothers and I are middle-aged now, doctors and lawyers, husbands and fathers with houses of their own, houses that remind me of our childhood, the house we grew up in and that backyard fence we climbed over together.

And I realize my brothers and I will always give each other a boost over fences. Brothers may not have a Hallmark Holiday, but they have each other for a lifetime. So here's to brothers everywhere! And, if you're listening, I want to remind my brothers I can still whip you at miniature golf.
With a perspective, I'm Richard Swerdlow.