This is a guest post by Jake Martin, SJ.
“Hey, big brother!” My sister Amanda has greeted me this way since the time she could string together words (which was very young; she’s the smarty pants in the family), and I’ve always loved hearing it. I’m sure it’s not unusual for a little sister to refer to her older brother in this manner, but I’ve always loved the affection and endearment that it connotes. I guess because I love being an older brother and all the attendant responsibilities that go along with it: teasing my sister mercilessly, being suspicious of any boy that comes around, teasing my sister mercilessly.
I was especially grateful to hear my sister chirp out her traditional greeting from her phone the day after Hurricane Sandy. My baby sister is all grown up and living on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, which was hit pretty hard by the storm. I expected she would be okay, but there’s always that Irish part of myself that thinks the worst. So when I heard her, “Hey, big brother,” just as sweet and squeaky as when I would come home from school and she’d be riding her tricycle on the sidewalk in front of our house, decked out in her Little Mermaid jogging suit, grape jam smeared across her face, I relished being a big brother more than usual.
Jake Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit comedian and writer from Chicago. He is the author of What’s So Funny About Faith?