February 1st 1993, the day my baby brother was born and the day my biggest wish came true! I had always wanted a younger sibling and was so excited to meet him or her. It’s funny because, when you’re younger you don’t really get what having a sibling means, you just see others around you with younger or older brothers and sisters and it looks like it would be fun so I guess that’s what I wanted too.
I remember being given a bright pink jumper with – I’m the big sister – emblazoned on it and feeling proud as punch. I had the morning off school and went to meet my new best mate and honestly, that has never changed. Cheesy as hell but true, Jack and I have always been close, maybe that’s partly because there’s almost seven years between us but mainly because we quite simply get along!
Granted, when he was little I used him as a bit of a toy, dressing him up, teaching him dance moves – there’s plenty of embarrassing video footage – but then as he grew up, I would be goaly by the garage door whilst he practised goal shooting and we began our endless sibling rivalry with game upon game of swing ball.
Even Jack will admit that he was a bit of a mummy’s boy as he grew up, he didn’t like watching the film Twister because it scared him and when my friends and I forced him to play the board/video game called Atmosphere I’m sure he nearly burst a vein from crying! But we were a team – we ganged up on mum to test out her theory that she wouldn’t be able to scream if she was ever jumped or attacked because she’d be so scared. So, Jack sat in the kitchen and I hid in the under stairs cupboard and when mum got home he acted normal, she came to hang her coat up and I jumped out, scaring her half to death and releasing one horrendously loud scream…Jack and I cried with laughter but mum didn’t speak to us for hours…one of our finest sibling moments!
We are different in so many ways but it’s always worked. He has always been popular, handsome, confident and outgoing. Always been annoyingly able to turn his hand to anything and blitzed his school days with no worries – or at least that’s what he led us to think! He passed his driving test first time – after making me think he’d failed and I’d FINALLY beaten him at something! He made his leavers music video hit over 250,000 on YouTube and became the “fit bloke with the blue shirt on” in the comments!! He can handle his drink much more than his lightweight sister and made so much more of his uni days than I ever did. I’ve never been jealous of this, I’ve always admired his zest for life, give it a go attitude – this is something I have learnt from him for sure.
He will probably hate that I’ve written this blog about him because we don’t really do deep and meaningful conversations about our relationship – what siblings do?! But I am proud of him, not just because he’s my little brother, just because of the human he has grown into. He approaches life with ease and a sense of laid backness, I do think that sometimes this is a case of a duck gliding on the surface and frantically paddling underneath, but who cares – he gets things done, even if it is on the day or hour before it needs doing! However, teaching has definitely made him more organised and forward thinking!
Life has been pretty tough over the last few years but he has never failed to make me laugh. He doesn’t force conversations but I know he is always there. He doesn’t probe but always has a cuddle ready. He doesn’t ask how I am very much but that’s okay because he’d rather treat me normally and take the mickey out of something I’ve said or done and then wink at the end to let me know he loves me really!
I guess I wanted to write this blog post on his 25th birthday because he’s now moved out and has properly started his adult life and it feels like the end of a chapter. One of the blessings in disguise of my whole illness was that we all got to live together as family Green for a couple of years. Many families wouldn’t cope with that, and believe me, we did have our moments, but it just showed me how lucky I am. Lucky because we are so close, we do get on and we do all genuinely love each other. I am lucky because so many siblings don’t get on, argue and fall out and we haven’t – yet! We aren’t twins but there is definitely a twin thing about us, we know how we feel and think before speaking and can confide and trust in each other like only best friends can.
So there you have it Jack Green – an ode to us as siblings – you’re creeping up to your thirties now so make the most of every day!