The Sibling


The other day, my brother sent me a picture which read: ‘You haven’t had a childhood unless you’ve jumped from one sofa to the other to avoid the lava.’ I had a chuckle to myself and then a thought dawned on me: what would it be like to be an only child?

What would I do without that someone I can share childhood memories with? And what would I do without someone on this planet who understands how utterly insane our parents actually are? Who else would’ve embarrassed me in front of my teenage boyfriends or told me, when no one else would, that I needed to lose a few pounds? Who else would have watched All Dogs Go To Heaven with me on repeat, followed up by The Land Before Time, every single day for about eight years?

Only a sibling, of course.

When I look back on the past 25 years, many of my favourite memories include my brother. That trip to Disney Land (during his fat-phase) where he drank the bottomless drinks dry, that time he stunk out the mini van with his old trainers, that time he almost choked to death and I was laughing too much to call an ambulance and that time he came to visit me at university and… ahem… got on really well with my house-mate. Oh the joys (and double standards) of siblinghood.

As I’m sure we all could, I could regale you for hours with tales of our childhood, teenage years and even our twenties. In fact, the time he called me at 3am when he tried to escape the wrath of a one night stand but set the burglar alarm off is worth a mention- but aside from that one story it would be pointless to share the rest as they just wouldn’t be as funny to you as they are to us. Besides, you have no idea who Granny Helen is-or Gizmo for that matter. And Leysdown and Westgate probably just sound like made up words to you. Never would anyone else have shed an actual tear on my graduation day and never will anybody understand the utter heartache we went through in 2006 better than him.

So, my dear big brother, you’re off on a brand new adventure, half way across the world right now, and this time: it’s without me. Have a blast, but more importantly: look after yourself.

Even though you annoy me more than words can say and you cut all of my hair off the day before my second birthday party, I would still like you back in one piece. With a panama hat stored safely away for me in your rucksack.

Happy travels you petulant human.