Golden Brothers

"I often think how lucky I was to have been an only child. I had enough business sense, even at an early age, to realize that had I had a number of brothers and sisters, I would have been lucky to get a share of a single family pony, instead of which I was, for a short time, the proud possessor of three." - by Iris Kellett of County Kildare, Ireland Sibling relationships are among the most complicated and meaningful in our lives, as any number of literary works (e.g., Fyodor Dostoevsky's "The Brother's Karamazov," J.D. Salinger's "Franny and Zooey," Julia Alvarez's "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents," and Jamaica Kincaid's "My Brother") attest. Compose an essay about your relationship with one or more of your siblings, or about other relationships between brothers and sisters. If you are an only child, you may wish to elaborate on the perspective of Ms. Kellett, telling us about how you felt to have been the only child -- rich in ponies or love, bereft of the siblings you imagine would have enriched your life -- or give some other response that can only be your own.

Growing up as one of a trio of "Golden boys" has its share of ups and downs. I am the oldest. Ben followed by two years, and Aaron by another three. It still amazes me that three individuals raised together with the same values, treated the same way by our loving parents, could turn into such different adults. These differences are what make sibling relationships, and my sibling relationships in particular, the wonderful, life-building experiences that they are.

Brotherhood is an interesting experience that is very difficult to explain in mere words; anecdotes and ideas will have to suffice. Growing up was all about Nintendo games, Legos, and various activities pertaining to swords. I cannot count the hours that the three of us spent fixated on Mario, one brother playing and the other two "kibitzing" (a Yiddish word for providing unsolicited advice). We jointly built Lego monstrosities well into my late teen years and always had something related to medieval fantasy going, be it Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering or just building swords and armor from wood and cardboard and knocking each other silly with our creations.

Ben would tell you about the psychological and physical abuse the middle child...

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