May 20, 1996.
My parents and I were getting ready to head out of our Days Inn, junior suite. We were in Orlando about to go to the "Magic Kingdom" for a entire day of mouse ears and a pre-Depp iteration of Pirates of the Caribbean. I was about as excited as a seven year old child can be.
The only thing that was tripping me up that morning was the shirt I chose to wear. It had "NBA Magic" emblazoned on the front with a number and a last name I couldn't pronounce on the back. I was confused about the Magic, being in Orlando, so close to Disney's - Magic Kingdom. Were they Disney's basketball team? The branding, so similar? SHAQ? Kazaam? Space Jam? Who was I supporting? I digress. We're walking out the door, turn off the light and Heather calmly says "we need to go to the hospital." I couldn't say anything because I was actually speechless. I stared out the window thinking to myself, "that was a funny one" and "thank god dad is driving so fast to Disney." When we got to the hospital's patient drop off loop, I accepted the legitimacy of her needing medical attention but asked if we were dropping Heather off, or if we had to stay too. Dad unamused.
I then sat in a waiting room, twiddling my thumbs, watching ads for Disney play on the TVs for three hours, until my family members just started to show up. I'm legitimately surprised to see them, thinking to myself, "you guys drove three hours to sit in this room?" The concept of them having a new grandson or nephew hadn't occurred to me because I was still in shock.
Later I watched as everyone gleefully passed him around, holding my new spud brother, Taylor. They were all so happy, oblivious to the fact his arrival ruined my life. It took 2 more years to accept his existence and realize my relationship to my brother is more important than anything earth, especially a G rated theme park. We've been best friends ever since.
Couldn't be any prouder to be his big brother. Happy 21st! These are some pictures from the last year.