April 10 is National Sibling Day, a commemorative day to “honor, appreciate and celebrate all brothers and sisters and memorialize those who are no longer with us.” Started by the Siblings Day Foundation in 1995, the day gives all of us who are lucky enough to have siblings the opportunity to extend our love and appreciation to them in recognition of our unique bond. National Sibling Day has been recognized by Presidents Clinton and Bush, and advocated as a way to unite not only families, but our communities and nation as a whole.
My brother Clint was born in 1974 and I followed five and half years later. Clint had wanted a little brother desperately, and had even decided that I would be named Roger. When I was born and turned out to be a girl, five-year-old Clint was crestfallen. But he accepted my “gender deficiency” and decided he would be the best big brother he could be. Unfortunately, I was not a warm or friendly baby and my cold temperament kept him at by throughout my infancy and toddler years. I’m sure that rejection was hard for him, and I think I ended up paying for it years later, mostly in the form of lugie attacks and indian rubs.
But in between all of the pummeling, bickering, and all-around brattiness, we always had good times. When we were still pretty little we played a game where we would put our ears to each others’ stomachs and make up stories to go along with the noises we would hear. There were also a couple of epic games of hide-and-go-seek and laser tag that I know I’ll never forget. But the best “game” we ever had was “ChairRide.” ChairRide was some sort of robot/arcade/story-teller persona that Clint created to entertain me and I would sit in his lap for whatever adventure he’d planned for our playtime, which might be anything ranging from telling jokes to lifting me in the air with his hands and feet so I could fly. I still remember how ChairRide would make me giggle. I imagine it was as sad for him as it was for me when I got too old for ChairRide and Clint was forced to kill him off in a decidedly melodramatic manner.