When I was 5 years old, my family lived in London for a period of time while my Dad continued his education. We rented a little loft that was heated in the winter by a single heater downstairs that went off automatically at 10 or 11pm. It was set on a timer that my parents couldn't alter or control, and the place became bitingly cold when the heater wasn't running. Thus, our schedule was pretty much regulated by when that darn thing went on and off. When we heard it click at night, we would and all run to put on layers of clothing and immediately bundle up under the warm covers and blankets of our beds.
My brother, who was almost 2 years old at the time, was always the first one to wake up in the morning -- usually before the heat came back on. He always followed the same routine: he would crawl out of bed, come over to me, and shake me awake, and say "Susee, Yee Yee, susee!" (In toddler-speak this meant "Cereal, sis, cereal!") I would get up in the darkness, trudge downstairs in the cold, and make him something to eat. I complained that it was always ME he woke up ridiculously early, never my Mom or Dad. Over the years this became a family legend retold again and again at holidays and other gatherings.
But secretly? I liked that it was me he relied on and came to for help. That's the real reason I kept getting up all those cold, early mornings to help him, and didn't just turn over, slap the covers over my head, and yell "GO AWAY!"
Today is my brother's birthday. He's now a grown man, married with a lovely wife, and thinking of starting his own family in the next few years. He has a couple of advanced degrees, works for himself, and I'm terribly proud of him.
So bro? Happy Birthday.