Widgets Magazine

Mar 13, 2011

Anything You Can Do...

I gave you a teaser yesterday in my post about my two older brothers, now Bossy says I’d better explain myself. When I was a child, our house was full of the competitive spirit. I have seven siblings, three brothers and four sisters. This provided plenty of opportunity to try to "one-up" each other. 

My parents encouraged us to work hard and value education. I remember bringing home a report card with all A grades and one A-. There was no "Good job! Nice report card." It was "Why did you get an A-?" My parents also believed that comparing kids with each other made them work harder. Nobody wanted to be the biggest slacker! And for the most part, it worked. 

My oldest brother was the amazingly brilliant one. It all came so easy for him.  He was Valedictorian, received cool scholarships, accepted only the highest possible grades without ever studying, traveled the world, earned a PhD at Cornell, wrote books, and finally landed a prestigious position at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. He eventually even got the girl when he married at age 38 and had an incredibly brilliant daughter of his own. (He’s losing his hair first too, so that’s got to be worth something!) 

My next brother also had very high grades because he worked extremely hard, received nice scholarships, traveled the world, earned a PhD from UCLA, wrote books, and landed a prestigious position at the University in Chiba, Japan (sorry, I don’t know the name of your school!). He has a beautiful wife and three extremely talented kids (OK, the two boys play an amazing game of basketball…) and his little girl can only dribble down her chin (so far! She just turned one.). 

Then there’s me…but for now, let’s focus on the competition that goes on between these two brothers of mine. Perhaps you can see a few similarities in the paths they have followed? Both played tennis in high school and were state champions. Watching a tennis match between the two of them was a lot like watching them succeed in life. Japan 15, New Zealand 30, Advantage Japan, Game, Set, Match! They were working hard for the same things. Both were Eagle Scouts, missionaries, ESL teachers in other countries. Both married later in life (I think they had a pact of some kind). 

As kids they weren’t always the best of friends. I remember them fighting one night and running through the glass window of our front door. I’m pretty sure that one ended in stitches. Actually, I’m pretty sure that happened twice! But as brothers they were always close. New Zealand was a bit of a nerd in elementary school and Japan ended up in the principal’s office many times for beating up the kids who picked on his older brother. 

©: FOX
 This has been the hardest blog I have written. I have been so worried that their competitive spirits might misinterpret my intentions somehow and make them feel that I care more for one than the other or that I think one has been more amazing than the other. They are two of my heroes and even though I like to tease them a little, I’m very proud of the amazing men they have become. But just because one of you did something doesn’t mean the other one has to copy every time. Japan clearly won the earthquake competition...now can’t we just do something easy? Like stealing the moon or maybe a race to Mars? 


1 comment:

Mom said...

Now that we are seeing the enormity of the earthquake in Japan and the loss of life and property, I am regretting making light of such a horrible situation. We hear from my brother every day and even though they are not in the worst hit area, they have little food, only a couple of hours of electricity a day, and no idea when life will ever get back to "normal." I hope I have not offended anyone. Our hearts and prayers go out to all who are suffering.


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