Today is a very important day. Very important. The first recorded historical event to have occurred on this day was in 30 B.C. when Octavian (aka Augustus) battled Mark Antony (you remember him, and Julius Caesar, and Cleopatra) in the final war of the Roman Republic and conquered Egypt on the 1st day of August.
Of course, most of us don't remember much of the ancient Roman history we learned in school. At least I don't. But I know someone who is big into history. He knows way more about that stuff than I do. Seriously, his brain's capacity to remember such facts and dates is astounding. And he is the reason today is so important.
My big brother was born this date, three years before my arrival on this planet. If you don't have a big brother (or an older sibling), then maybe you won't understand. There is something remarkable about sibling relationships. I mean, besides my parents, my big brother and my twin sister are the only ones who've known me since the beginning.
I was trying to think of my earliest memories of my big brother. But I can't. He has just always been there (don't worry sisters, you have too). Sure he picked on us girls. Can you blame him? He had three little sisters tagging along after him. But under all his protests, we knew that he had our backs if we ever needed it. If someone else dared harm one of us, look out. There was a comfort in knowing there was someone bigger than me who was looking out for me.
Don't get me wrong, the three of us girls could never gang up on him. All he had to do was grab hold of our heads and bonk them together -- a skill he mastered early on. And don't feel too sorry for him, by the time we were in junior high and high school, he had his own bathroom. He wasn't waiting for us to fix our hair and put makeup on. And he always got the seat in the minivan with the most leg room. He might have fussed about growing up with all those sisters, but I think he knows he's pretty lucky to have had three sisters who looked up to him.
He might not know this, but I became a runner because of him. I once even tried to learn the violin because he played. That didn't work out for me. He was always more musically gifted. He has so many creative talents that I admired (and was jealous of) as a child. He could draw. He was and is a talented actor, something I also tried and failed at. He was a writer long before I ever was. So much of who I am I became because I was watching him.
Happy Birthday, Stephan! Thanks for always having my back and giving advice when I need it. I wouldn't be who I am today if I didn't have you leading the way.