Brother Monkey has always been the amazing one in our family. The one with better grades. The one with better test scores. The one with greater athletic abilities. The one with more friends.
I could go on.
I've always been thankful that he was younger than I was. Living in the shadow of an older brother like this would've been near unbearable. It wasn't easy as it was.
I still remember, when I was seven, I didn't understand ratios. Papa Monkey, not known for his patience, was very frustrated with me, so much so that he called over itty-bitty BroMo. I sat there with tears streaming down my face, as I watched Papa Monkey walk BroMo through the basics of fractions.
Just minutes later, BroMo got it.
He was three years old.
I was still confused.
Why Papa Monkey did this, I'll never know. Parenting is hard, I suppose, but it seems rather basic not to pit siblings against each other.
When I was 16, like most other high school juniors, I took the SAT. But, unlike most other high school juniors, I took the SAT the same day my 12-year-old brother did. He was taking it for an intellectual talent search for "students with exceptionally high academic abilities."
As if the pressure of the test itself weren't enough, I had the added anxiety of wondering if I'd score higher than a seventh grader.
Lucky for me, my generally inferior skills were still decent enough to get me where I am today. And, even luckier, BroMo and I have a very good relationship. With time, I learned not be jealous. With time, I learned to be excited about his accomplishments.
Save Mr. Monkey, there's no one else in the world I trust and love more than BroMo.
And now I can and do brag about him to my heart's content.
Last week, BroMo had both the worst and the best week of his life thus far. I will not discuss the worst part, which is heart-wrenching and continues to be so. But the best part is seriously awesome.
I am overwhelmingly proud of him. Our parents may not understand or appreciate the magnitude of this recent milestone.
But I do.
It might even be more impressive than calculating ratios at age three.