Rachel and I were out with our brother Tim. Today was his birthday and I'd brought him a piece of apple pie as a special treat. He ate the pie, along with a few other snacks, but didn't make eye contact with either of us and let his head hang forward in a sleepy detached kind of manner for most of the drive. Severe autism, years of psychological drugs, age, and the passing of our parents have all taken a toll on our brother. He can't walk anymore, doesn't speak, and now appears depressed as well.
I thought back through the years and wondered what kind of a birthday Tim might have had fifty years ago. I attempted to figure out how old he might have been. Of course, being blond, I set to figuring the hard way... Tim was born in 1958. I tried to add or subtract a few numbers (I honestly can't even recall now what I was trying to do), and suddenly realized I was not thinking logically. All I really had to do was some simple thinking. I didn't even need to strain my brain. Fifty-six minus fifty leaves six. (Hey, what do you know? I'm fifty. That would have been 1964...) Okay, now you get the idea and realize my math genius.
Not to be outdone, Rachel had a math moment of her own. We went to Wendy's for a Frosty, two Frosties actually. The total came to $2.79. I checked my pockets and handed her a $1 bill, 3 quarters, and 4 pennies. She only needed to add one dollar. She handed the cashier $2.85 (2 dollar bills, 3 quarters, and a dime). "I gave you seventy-nine cents," I told her. She looked at me in the rear view mirror and said, "But I only had four pennies.."
I somehow felt relieved at not being the only blond member of the family.
PS. I took my camera along today, but it wasn't the happiest of birthdays and I didn't think taking pictures would be the kindest thing to do. So, you get some photos from happier days.