I think shortly after that photo was taken, I kicked him in the nuts and smashed his Lincoln Logs to smithereens.
Growing up in the shadow of "the dear wee man" was a nightmare. For him. He was the sweet one. The compassionate one. The one who would sit for hours holding the liver spotted hands of elderly relatives, while I rifled through their purses looking for smokes or a crumpled 2$ bill. I'd inevitably ruin everything, with an emergency trip to the hospital after falling from a tree, or getting smacked in the head with a baseball – stealing his thunder once again.
My big brother left home as quickly as he could – never looking back – lest I was chasing behind the bus on my Honda 50 armed with a handful of kitty litter as a weapon of mass destruction. I was the fucking bain of his existence.
Our lives eventually went in opposite directions. While I traveled the world, partied, changed jobs, schools, boyfriends and my mind – my brother worked in the IT department of the Bank. He walked into the world of computers long before anyone played PONG or knew what a Commodore 64 was. This new world, with a language of its own, fit him like a glove. He has the RRSP's and Bank stock to prove it.
To say my brother and I never got along was an understatement. I grew up convinced one of us had to be adopted, and he merely hoped it were true. Then, one day in 1995, everything changed.
I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. All was forgiven.
My brother loves my child unconditionally. He put Jack though private school. He saves every report card and school photo. He follows Jack's hockey schedule and wants updates after every single game. Last summer, I watched my brother in the stands at a Toronto tournament. It was torture for him. He said he felt every shot and almost had a heart attack watching Jack in the net. He loves my child that much. Who would have thought, me having an illegitimate child, would make my brother the happiest guy on Earth. Had I known that was all it would take, I would have cranked out a nephew at 16.
So Paul Martin, dear wee man. Sorry I wrecked your stuff, and your life. I'm a little short of cash, otherwise I'd be there to throw up birthday cake all over the backseat of your spotless Mercedes.
And, I don't know if I ever told you this, but I am really proud of you. (Don't worry, you don't have to say it back.)