This I Believe

John - Keswick, Virginia
Entered on March 5, 2007

Mon Frère

When my teacher approached my class with this assignment in mind, I had no idea what I would do. I kept hoping that some one or something would serve as inspiration, something that would make me say, “That’s what I believe in”. I tossed around several ideas before it dawned on me. I should have anticipated where it would come from. My brother Reid is truly what I believe in.

Being only three years apart, we quickly became each other’s best friend. I look at pictures of us together at the time just after his birth, when I gave him my prize possession, a matchbox snowplow truck. When we were little, and we still act little most of the time, Reid had a stuffed dog named Puppy. Well, I wanted it and neglected my own stuffed bear, Ruggles, for Reid’s favorite toy. After that the concept of sharing flourished, and for the most part, will continue to do so until we are old and grey.

Reid goes to camp with me, to the pool and back; we play tennis, basketball and football together. But most of all we are brothers together. Not brothers bonded by any sort of code or by bleeding from our wrists and chanting strange, foreign incantations. No, we are brothers for the long run of large and small things. Like next year, Reid will be a freshman in high school, and I will be a senior.

Now that I am sixteen, I have passed several of life’s favorite tests. I have seen Reid pass them in my wake with flying colors. I have learned the ropes and encouraged him to do the same. There are to be no easy days for him. And when adults tell me that I am lucky to have him I just nod and say, “Yes, thank you, he is good to have around.” But as I write this essay I realize that without him there is not one person who is as close to me as we are. Not my parents, my friends, no one. If you have a sibling you now how we are, how you can tell them secrets and continually develop understanding that will last you a lifetime. And hopefully one lifetime later, Reid and I will be able to laugh at the same things that we do now.

Some days he is impossible, and my patience is put through its paces. Other days, Reid makes me glad to be alive. Like when we share strange amusements ranging from President Bush, to reality T.V, to bad drivers, to the UPS man, and even friends of the past. My mom says that Reid and I live in our own little world. That’s fine, as long as he is there with me.

I guess that when we are sitting in a retirement home many years from now I will still have to scold him, keep him in line, encourage him to try harder, and just be an older brother. I remember last summer when my father and I went to Europe for two weeks. Guess where Reid wants to go now…you guessed right, Europe.

He is my shadow, my light, my friend, my foe, my mentor, my protégée, my hope and my despair. He is my brother Reid and I believe in him.