I wish I could remember the exact time my brother became my best friend. It might well have been the moment he was born, but you wouldn’t have known it until much later. Nearly four years his senior, I pushed him around as much as I could when I was young. He eventually got me back by being a much better athlete, student, and professional than I ever was. In any case, for at least the last 20 years, my little brother and I have been through everything together. He still puts up with my silliness, and I help contribute to his. We take regular trips to Las Vegas together and see each other on the holidays.

I think of it for two reasons. First, for the first time ever, my brother and I are taking our whole family on vacation. He’s bringing his wife and son. I’m bringing my wife and boys. Our parents will be there as well. We’ll be celebrating my wife’s birthday, my son’s birthday, my brother’s birthday, and my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. It’s a big time and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Second, I spent a few minutes with my camera and my boys yesterday. I let them fool around while I experimented with a new lens. This is one of the photos that I ended up with. It makes me wonder how long it will take my boys to realize how great it is to have a brother…if they haven’t figured it out already.


Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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9 Responses

  1. Drizztdj says:

    And I thought bunny ears went out of style. Great pic!

  2. Hee hee! I love the picture. With the looks on their faces I wonder who is going to be the serious one and who is going to be the joker?

    Poor-Poor Uno is going to have to hear of his little brother “The Doctor” soon enough.


  3. The Wife says:

    What a perfect shot – and I love the look on the face of Dos. Classic “Brothers are such a pain in the diaper . . . “

  4. Doug Ross says:

    Brad, I hope you kick back and have the best vacation of you life! It sounds like fun!

  5. Sweet Chuck says:

    My three brothers are 18 years older than I, as such I never got to know them or hang with them when we could have shared common experiences. I don’t know that my sister and I could ever be best friends, but we are certainly friends… but we will never be as brothers. There is a theme from Numb3rs repeated over and over again, about Charlie and Don being more than brothers, about being best friends. Watching that is the closest I’ve gotten to knowing what that relationship is like.

  6. Gary Schafer says:

    That picture brings back some memories- those apples didn’t fall far from the tree. I’m really glad the Willis clan is taking a joint vacation. We did that for the first time this summer and it was fantastic! Enjoy… It doesn’t get any better than that! Say hi to everyone for me.

  7. trodoss says:

    Great pic!

    As G. said, vacationing with the whole family this year was great.

    @Sweet Chuck,
    What do I remember about growing up with an older sibling? …

    There was the phase of take away toy/screaming/crying/hitting.
    Lasted what seemed like forever. Eventually interests diverged, and the “my” versus “his” devloped.

    Then there was the phase (right around middle school age through somewhere in high school) of denying the other’s existance to one’s friends. That, made especially fun attending the same school and having some of the same teachers.

    Some time after high school the mutual respect/friendship developed.

    Closer the age of the siblings maybe equates to the degree of sibling rivarlry? Don’t know, but maybe.
    The great equalizer: Papa John’s “…I’ll let you keep that money.” Fond memories of that and the “Ins $100 Bill”…

    Have a good one!

  8. Lori Weber says:

    When I saw the photos of the boys, I thought, “wonder if Brad will Blog about his relationship with his brother?” Glad to see it. My little sister found a quote that sums it up, I think (attributed to Clara Ortega): “To the outside we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. . .we live outside the touch of time.”

  9. Da Goddess says:

    Wow, they look so much like you and Mrs. Otis. Just…wow!

    I’m so glad you and your family are on an awesome trip. You, the kids, the parents…you’ll remember it forever as THE TRIP.