It’s a happy Monday over here for the McGraw family! Someone we all know and love is turning 21 today…
My brothers are so very important to me and I am glad that we grew up with parents who cherished their relationships with their siblings. If we didn’t see how important that was, maybe the three of us wouldn’t be so close. Somehow, we have learned that no matter what is said and no matter what happens, we will be there for each other. That is the best gift ever.
If I had to be stuck on a desert island with two other people, I would pick my brothers. The funny thing is, the three of us are nothing alike and I think that is why we get along so well. Jake is adventurous, Alex is hilarious, and I don’t really know what I have to offer…I’m just along for the ride. 😉 Alex and Jake have a special bond because they are brothers and Jake and I have a special bond because I was the oldest and I liked “taking care” of him when he was younger (hey, I still do that now…). But Alex and I have a special bond because he made me a big sister. I was 3 years old when he came along and I was so excited to have someone to play with. I have vivid memories of making him watch “Wee Sing” sing-a-long VHS videos with me and playing all of my imaginary games…house, school, the whole nine yards.
Alex was just the person I needed because while he was adventurous and loved playing outside, I was a total girly girl and would have rather played indoors! My favorite memories are the many hours we spent outside drawing sidewalk chalk roads for our bikes, playing in the creek behind our house, and getting all the neighborhood kids together in our front yard to play kickball or hide and seek.
While we definitely had our own friends, sometimes our friendships overlapped. He called my best friend Stefanie “Fluffy” and I loved playing with his best friend Nick’s little twin sisters. 🙂
When we were at the beach this summer, our family kept telling lots of “Remember when…” stories because we have been to Wildwood, NJ so many times! Alex and I were trying hard to remember life without Jake, but it was really hard! Jake was born when I was 7 years old and Alex was 4 years old, so we should have lots of memories just together…but somehow, they all include Jake. Which he is totally fine with. Hahaha
When we were in elementary school, we bickered like cats and dogs. We were part of an after school bumper bowling league and I remember my mom always reminded us to be nice to each other “in public” because I guess she was afraid we would be mean to each other in front of people. We always told her, “But we’re nice to each other there. We take care of each other and share our french fries.” Hahaha
One of Alex’s favorite pastimes was hiding behind a door…standing in my closet…laying under my bed…sneaking just around the corner…and then jumping out and scaring the shit out of me as soon as I entered the room/stairwell/bed. To this day, I am easily startled, so needless to say, I wasn’t a fan of his favorite game way back when. 😉
My very favorite memory with Alex is making our Dad hate the movie “The Parent Trap”. When Alex was 5 years old, he and his best friend were racing their bikes around our driveway and Alex turned too wide and ran into the small strip of brick in between our garage doors. He tore his lip and messed up his teeth pretty bad. He needed stitches! In his school picture that year, you can tell something happened to him! But I am pretty sure for the next week after that little accident, we ate our body weight in Welch’s grape and raspberry popsicles and we watched “The Parent Trap” over and over and over again. There are some movies you can just do that with. 🙂 To this day, I love it, and I’m sure if you ask my Dad, he would probably say he hates it! Haha
Once I got to middle school, Alex and I had totally different social lives. I was my regular introverted self and he was his regular outgoing self. Luckily, we were always the best of friends when we were together. We spent a lot of time with our family and I was his number one fan at baseball and basketball games. 🙂
We even got to spend one year together in high school! I was a senior when he was a freshman. We both went to Homecoming that year, too!
He got really tall and most people thought that he was older than me. When I went on college tours, the tour guides ignored me and would ask what he was going to study. But my very favorite were the people who would mistake us for dating. Ha!
Once, we were riding this Surrey bike in Wildwood and Alex was driving us down a ramp from the Boardwalk to the street. Though this bike has two steering wheels, only one of them ACTUALLY steers the bike and that person also controls the bike. Lucky me, Alex was driving. In his brain, we were going to go full speed ahead down the ramp, but I was having a fit and trying to slow us down before we crashed. As we argued and I tried to reach across him to control the brake, someone commented that we were too young to already be acting like an old married couple. Hahaha!
We did not die. We made it to dinner that night:)
Alex has a huge heart, is so smart, and has that extra little dash of confidence that lets him do what he really wants to do no matter what anyone else thinks. I envy that and wish I were more like him in that respect!
He loves driving (his car and anything else)…
He loves his dog, Amigo…
…and he loves Pittsburgh sports. Steelers games are our happy place. 🙂
The day is finally here, Alex! You have been waiting for your 21st birthday forever. You are now officially an adult. I love you so much! Happy Birthday! Have the best day!