Today completes my year of family-birthday-blogging. I started last February with my brother Dan, and will finish today with my oldest brother Derek. From here on out - every one is on their own with birthday reminders. And in response to yesterday's text, GREG...no, yesterday was NOT Derek's birthday, but today is - so please call him.
Ahhhh, Derek. I have to say that when it comes to sibling friendships, Derek was the first family member to really befriend me. I hit my punk-rocker phase when I was about thirteen, and Derek loved it. Unlike most older siblings, Derek always let me know where all the cool local bands were playing, and even let me tag along with his friends. I remember him driving me and two friends (Olivia and Lindsay) to a battle of the bands when Lindsay started whispering in Olivia's ear. Derek asks, "What are the two of you whispering about back there?" And Oliva says, "Oh, Lindsay just mentioned that you were really hot. Now she's melting in the back seat." Lindsay was mortified, and I think Derek could tell. His response? "That's fine, just clean up the seat when you're done."
My mom has a million "when Derek was a kid" stories, so I have a plethora to chose from. But being a mom has helped me to appreciate this story the most: My mom, dad and Derek were at dinner with one of my mom's friends, Cindy. Derek was looking at Cindy very closely when he asked, "Cindy - are you a boy or a girl?" Cindy laughed a little and said, "Derek, I'm a girl, why?" He looked at her again and said, "Well, that's what I thought, because you wear a girl's watch, but you have a moustache, so I wasn't sure."
Growing up my mom used to call him Derekuda - and obviously would sing, "Ooooooh, Derekuda" as his theme song. On the topic of nicknames, Derek has called me "kiddo" my entire life - a nickname that I still love.
One of my favorite, FAVORITE stories about Derek is from a day he had some major road rage. He was driving, and a car cut him off or something dumb - and Derek got really mad. He went to give the guy the finger - and overshot by just a bit. His hand flew into his windshield, and because it was so cold outside, the windshield immediately cracked. When he got to his destination - his wife, Jessica, asked him what happened. Not wanting to lie - but not ready to admit his error, he told her that a bird hit his windshield.
Derek is a really great dad, has mad design skills, and can always make you laugh. Happy Birthday, Derek! I love you!