So my younger brother Adam turned 40 over the weekend. Which is weird since I'm still in my late 20's....just kidding. I don't really want to be in my late 20's. I like being in my 40's. Anyhow, for his birthday Whitley asked his friends and family to write him a note or a memory and I enjoyed writing my memory so much that I thought I'd log it here....as well as his awesome senior year picture that makes him look like a Kirk Cameron-esque teen of the 90's. If you don't know who Kirk Cameron is, well, I guess you missed out on Growing Pains. That's a tv show. That you had to watch on your tv on the night and time it was on or you missed it. Which means it was on tv a really long time ago. Okay, enough tangents...here's my story:
It was a summer night, deep in the middle of the 1980’s. The greater Romney family was gathered on the porch of a Park City condominium enjoying the enticing combination of breezy evening air and a barbecue picnic. I, however, was sitting huddled in the corner carefully watching my younger brother who was currently sporting a crooked grin and a dangerous twinkle in his eye. I was watching for signs of squealing. I had made the terrible mistake earlier in the day of revealing to my brother the name of the boy I had a crush on. In my 12 year old mind, I could only classify my feelings as true love. After all, it was Jace Mihalopolous. He may have been a little younger than me, but he had dark curly hair, olive skin and big brown eyes. My heart was lost. Lost so completely that I could not contain within my own lovesick head his name or the fact that he was indeed the boy that I LIKED. I found myself furtively sharing my secret with Adam, only recognizing my mistake after the words had left my lips. I was horrified. How could I have so willingly handed over my secret right to him, just handing him ammo on a silver platter? And I could see it on his face that he was just waiting for the perfect moment to strike. The cousins were gathered. The conversation had come to a lull. Adam perched casually on the steps leading to the lawn, leaning against the railing, and watching carefully. I saw it coming. Just at the perfect moment he made his announcement. “Guess who Rachel likes, you guys?” Silence. All heads turned his way. And he said it. He TOLD. Instantly a flame of fury ignited within me. I hated him. I was going to kill him. Before I could even think I launched myself off of my chair and barreled into his chest, throwing him off the porch and into the grass. In my head I pictured all the epic movie fights I had ever seen, and I began pummeling him up an down his torso with my balled-up fists, feeling satisfying thuds as I punched. Finally I was getting the upper hand in this fraught sibling-hood. After all the punches I could deliver, I rolled away, waiting to hear his tears begin. To see him at least curl into a ball and cradle his aching sides. Instead, to my absolute horror, I looked to see Adam laughing his head off. My hardest punches had been little more than gentle tickling to my brother. There was nothing left to do but give up all hope of ever gaining the upper hand over this pre-teen monster. I slumped back to the house, winding between the chairs of cousins and aunts and uncles who, it turned out, were not at all interested in my brother’s betrayal. They just went on chatting and munching away. I could only retreat up to my room to contemplate my lameness and comfort myself with thoughts of the long eyelashes of Jace Mihalopolous. I also began forming possible revenge methods on my brother that needed no public display of strength. Who knew that a short 30 years later I would look back to find that this same brother had come to be one of my favorite humans on the earth, one whom I respect and trust and strive to be more like. Will wonders never cease. Happy Birthday Adam!