Bob, or Bobby as I believe he still goes by (For a while I tried to call him Bert, but somehow it didn't stick), turns 20 today. No longer a teenager! Ha! Welcome to almost adulthood, it's all downhill from here ;) I wanted to post a picture of him in a lovely floral gown and strand of pearls from when he was still a cute, impressionable little kid and let me do things like that to him, but alas I don't have it saved on my computer anymore. So instead here is a picture of him driving our tractor to high school, I think on the last day of his senior year.
Bob came along in 1986 and put and end to my all too short two and a half year reign as only-child, and as punishment he endured all sorts of torture from me during our early years together, most of which involved me sitting on him for extended periods of time. However, he usually came out as the victor when he turned on the crocodile tears and the big bad big sister got sent to her room to bemoan her pitiful unloved existence to her stuffed friends. And on the rare occasions that we both got a spanking, life was still unfair- he still wore diapers! Despite our incessant bickering I have many fond childhood memories with little Bobby. Like throwing every single one of my stuffed animals down the laundry shoot (and then threatening to throw him after), the twelve hour drives to Cincinnati when we would build elaborate pillow barriers to mark of "my side" and "your side" of the back seat, and devising our own version of the Morse code so we could communicate to each other after bedtime (or when we were both being punished) by knocking on the wall between our rooms.
In high school Bob and I certainly followed different crowds. And by that I mean that he was infinitely cooler than I could ever hope to be. On my last day of high school me and four of my best girl friends wrote novelles in each others year books in my basement and cried about leaving each other forever. On Bob's last day of high school he and 200 or so of his "closest" friends had a concert in our back yard featuring his friend's Weezer coverband, cleverly named "Meezer". Bob's huge bon fire parties were somewhat infamous, and for years after I graduated whenever I went home and ran into someone from my high school they would inevitably ask, "Are you Bobby Schwaby's sister?"
Academically Bob had a hard act to follow in high school, nary a classroom in that building was left untracked by my goody-two-shoes, but he more than held his own. One would never guess by his too cool extreme sport loving appearance and lack of adult vocabulary, but Bob is something of a math wiz. He took university level math through high school and now constantly tells me that his graduate level courses in college are boring him. pfft.
Like me, Bob felt the pull of the ocean when choosing a college, only he opted for the Pacific over the Atlantic because it has better surfing (or because he couldn't get far enough away from me, who knows). He's now a sophomore at USC where he seems to spend little time studying and lots of time surfing. Why a Minnesota boy became so suddenly smitten with surfing is beyond me (perhaps something to do with the blond hair?), but he seems to have picked up the sport along with the culture fairly quickly. He has a knack for being sickeningly good at any sport he tries, much to my uncoordinated and unathletic dismay.
When not surfing he is working on his website (see side bar) where he is always coming up with new ways to scam the system and make money. He's been obsessed with money for as long as I can remember and will undoubtedly be rich and retired on his own private island by the time I put down my first mortgage payment.
Bob has never had a problem marching to the beat of his own drummer, in fact he insists that the human body is meant to be on a 25 rather than 24 hour cycle and so even when we're both home I rarely see him because of his unconventional sleep schedule. Hopefully I'll see a bit more of him this summer and if I'm lucky he'll even let me attend an exclusive fire party :)
Happy Birthday Bobby! I love you!
Just when my parents thought they were done with teenagers... Scott turned 13 on Monday!!! ah!! This birthday is a bit harder for me to deal with because Scotty is my baby brother and he's supposed to stay that way gosh darn it! I'm pretty sure I get more emotional about these things than my mom even, she's been through this before. I well recall fighting back tears at Scott's Kindergarten graduation not long ago. What happened to my snuggly sweet little baby doll? Well, here's was happened, he's turned into an adolescent, rock-and-roll included:
I remember my mom telling me she and dad had decided to have another baby. At the time I figured nothing could be worse than Bob and I crossed my fingers and hoped for a little sister who I would name Elizabeth. Mom said that if it was a girl I got to name her and if it was a boy Bob got to name him. A few months later at the ultrasound my hopes were dashed but I was so excited about bringing the ultrasound pictures in for show and tell that I didn't dwell on my wished-for sister for long. As the due date neared my classmates asked in unison every morning, "Did your mom have the baby yet?" No, no, and no. Scott was late. My memories from the night he finally came are pretty hazy. Bob and I were whisked away to my grandparents farm and found out the next day that we had a little brother. As promised, Bob got to pick the name and decided on Scott, after our elementary school bus driver.
I was ten years old when Scott was born and so I became something of a built-in babysitter/ second mommy right away. Scott was always easy to watch. He started sitting through entire movies when he was just one year old. His favorite being the Lion King, I will never forget his adorable belly laugh every time we watched the beginning of the film and the sun burst out over the horizon, "NAH! CHIBUNYA!" oh man, that got him every time :) He was pretty much the cutest baby ever. His thick dark hair stood strait up on end and his big blue eyes never dulled. Scott was the ridiculously spoiled younger child from day one. I have never seen my dad's face get more red then when Bob and I would make any loud noises while Scott was napping. But I loved my little brother all the same, and babied him just as much as anyone else. He was pretty attached to me as well. One summer while my parents were on a trip my poor unsuspecting Aunt Julie came to stay with us. Well, Scott would have nothing to do with her and made it his job to scream as loud as possible whenever she was around and cling to me like a life preserver. My role as protector only continued as Scott grew up and Bob saw his opportunity to make up for seven years as the youngest child. One might think that seven years would be enough distance to keep two brothers from fighting all the time, but one would be wrong. Bob to this day enjoys torturing Scott to no end and when I came home from college for the first time Scott begged me to not leave him again!
Since I've been away Scott has shot up like a tree and will be taller than me in a few years I'm sure. Despite my efforts to turn him into an avid reader by giving him books as presents every birthday and Christmas, which he dutifully smiled and thanked me politely for before throwing them in his closet, Scott has turned out to be the musical genius of the family (could have been me if anyone had gotten me piano lessons cough cough!) and is quite talented with a guitar. He's already taken on the typical teenager qualities of sulking and being generally disinterested in absolutely everything except for talking on IM with his friends in gangster like IMspeak, but luckily for me he's still ok with with hugging his big sister (at least he better be!). He's a quiet guy and not big on large social situations (Sound like anyone? For those of you who didn't know me in Jr. High: awkward, quiet, alone... would all be good words to describe me) and I think, like me, it may take him a while to come out of his over protected shell, but when he does, watch out world! He's a hottie ;)
One of the biggest reasons I'm looking forward to going home and hopefully sticking around Minneapolis for a while is to have the time to hang out with Scott while I still have some influence as the cool older sister with a car.
Happy Birthday Scott!! I love you!
(I promise I'll bring you real presents when I come home!)