Let me tell you about a family outing I went on when I was 6-7 years old.
I can place my age fairly well because my paternal grandparents were with my brother, my parents, and I, and I only spent time with them once as a child because they lived far away in Portugal.
We were all out at a park, taking a lovely stroll on a warm day, when I saw them:
Now, I can’t say that I remember the first time I ever saw cattails, but I guess I always liked them, because I distinctly remember that my first feeling upon seeing them during this particular family outing was, “I WANT THEM BECAUSE I LOVE THEM.”
So I asked my brother, Bryan, to pick me a cattail.
I don’t know why I asked my brother to get me one, because I was a pretty bold, self-sufficient kid. Typically, it was my brother asking me to do things he was afraid to do, like climb the kitchen counters to reach cookies or ask my mom for candy when he worried she would say no.
SIDENOTE: We Beça kids loved the snacks. We Beça kids still love the snacks.
Anyway. Maybe I thought the cattails looked too big for me to pick, so I needed my super cool older brother to use his mature kid-muscles to pick one for me. He was, after all, as spry and skilled in my eyes as The Karate Kid, and he did a killer impression of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Plus he knew all sorts of stuff about superheros. All I knew at that point was that I liked Storm’s outfit.
But I digress. Bottom line is I asked Bryan to get me a cattail, and Bryan complied.
What Bryan didn’t realize, though, is that while the cattails looked like they were rooted in mossy earth, they were actually rooted (can you call it that?) in a green swamp.
He took one step forward to grab hold of a cattail and he sank right into said swamp.
My grandpa grabbed a quick hold of his arm and dragged him out of the mud, which had suctioned itself all around his leg. In my memory, you could hear the “SLUUUURP” as he was freed from a fate so terrifying it might as well have been the quick sand from Indiana Jones.
And then he was immediately rushed to the park’s public bathroom to wash off his leg and sneaker (which I’m sure was never the same again).
Poor kid. He was not impressed.
And neither was I, because I never got my damn cattail.
So that was the day my brother learned to maybe toss a stone or something to test the depths before trying to pick anything out of a marshy-looking area.
Oh wait, this blog is about my life lessons.
That was the day I learned I have the best brother in the world.
He’s always got my back. Even when I’m being a little shit.
Plus, I mean, I wasn’t joking about him being cool. Just look at him.
SIDENOTE: I have clearly lost my touch for the sassy over-the-shoulder pose, because I can’t pull it off today to save my life.
P.S. Genuine LOL.