That's right. Brother Dear's birthday is today! This makes him 2 dozen years old :).
Twenty-four is a neat age for him, because it is 4 times his birth date (the 6th), it is 4 factorial (4x3x2x1), and also his birthdate times 24 equals the greatest integer of all time: 144! Yep, 6 x 24 = 144. And the fact that 6 is a perfect number makes it even more fun. Oh, oh, and the two digits of 24 (2 and 4) add up to his birthdate: 6. This is too fun. Oh, and I just thought of another one. His birthdate is 12/6 (December 6th), and both 12 and 6 are factors of 24. Hehe.
Brother Dear and I are only 16 months apart (minus one day), and consequently were sometimes mistaken for (obviously fraternal, I hope!) twins when we were young. We still have some similar features, most notably our ghostly pale complexions. . . And that hair color that seems to run in the family :). But really, I love Ben very, very much. He moved on Georgia Tech's campus when he was 17, so we haven't seen as much of him since :(, and now he lives in Seattle of all places!!! But we get to see him next week for two whole weeks! So that's happy.
Probably one of the things I most admire about Ben is his (sometimes painful) ability to speak plainly to me. He doesn't do it often, but usually when he does I remember it and take it to heart, even if I don't acknowledge it at the time. I specifically remember one instance in 4th grade that Boy has probably long-forgotten. I was, um, how shall I put this? . . *extremely* prideful as a child, though often well-hidden to most people. Brother Dear and I had Sunday School together when we were in 5th and 4th grades, respectively, and we had weekly memory verses and catechism questions. We were some of the few in the class who actually did our memory work every week, and I was rather proud of it, whereas Ben shyed away from mentioning his accomplishments. One time when I was proudly rattling off catechism questions or something of that sort (for no reason, at home, I believe), Ben just calmly looked at me and asked me why I did that so often, and then told me that it came across as boastful. I gave him this weird look and acted like he was imagining things, but believe me, it stuck with me! And I was definitely more conscious of my pride thereafter, though I continued to struggle with it!
Moral of the story: Honest brothers are wonderful, and people may heed your advice even when they don't appear to care :).
Happy Birthday, Ben!!!