Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Growing up with diaperman

This is a photo of my daughter with my brother and his son, Luke, this past summer. Yes, they are wearing life jackets as if they were diapers and bike helmets too. My brother, Brent, donnes the diaperman outfit when he takes his team camping, he's a coach. My daughter and I had just arrived to his house and he brought this out as an introduction, a way to break the ice. As you can see, my brother is funny. He's fun and funny. Back in high school, people used to either love Brent or hate him. When we lived together when he was in college, I noticed that most people liked him and few hated him. I think he had perfected his sarcasm, brought out more of his silliness. I'm not sure how people see him now, but his home is in constant flux as people, students, team members, neighbors, whomever come and go. These visitors are borrowing, lending, fixing, dropping off cakes. Few just stop to say hi, everyone knows that my brother is a kinesthetic guy and any convergence is rapid and with purpose. They hope for a laugh and usually find one.

My brother has a visceral reaction to anything that reminds him of me: theater, the arts, reading. Oddly, I realize that I am just as forcefully repelled by sports. As I've been putting more and more humor into my writing, I realize that I'm breaking an unwritten family rule. Humor is my brother's domain. I'm the serious one, the bookish oldest. Yet, I can't help but put my characters in humorous situations. I feel apologetic when I do this, and this feeling is something no one, with possibly the exception of my brother, could understand. It's part of the paradox of family.


Kylita said...

How great to see the photo of your brother. I remembered you'd called him awhile back after reading about me and my brother, and that makes me really happy. My brother had oddles of what I told him were "acquaintances" while I had a small handful of "real friends" - ha! and he was quite the entertainer. He'd hear musical I'd put on my answering machine and first thing say, "Oh, God, you gotta gid rid of that horrible music..." so I think I know what you mean. You keep coming on with the humor!! And, I'm not sure about virtual guinea pigs, but I know for sure there's a hamster. Check it out, it's really fun. I just fed my bat and bunny (and real cat several times) ... so on to work for the day.
Best to you,

Hayden said...

I only met your brother once and he was pretty serious, but I think you are damn funny.