🎶’So many good things come in pairs, like ears, socks and panda bears’🎶

Happy Birthday, brother. Happy Birthday to you too, bro. I think this is the first year that we actually understand what a birthday really is and how it’s our special day. I know we’ll be getting some gifts, cake, and maybe even a soda… but since we can’t buy our own toys to exchange with each other, how about we give the gift of song?

OK, that sounds great. I’ll go first since I’m older and was labeled “Baby A” since before I even graced the planet with my presence.

Yeah, older by one minute. Well, that makes me the baby of the bunch then and the youngest or “Baby B” always gets special treatment, so sure, you go first.

art by: Scott Soeder

Twin A to Twin B: “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise” by: The Avett Brothers

I picked this song first for you because it’s by a group of brothers! Scott and Seth Avett are not twins but through their music, beliefs and delivery, sometimes it seems like they are. The messaging here simply reminds me that I always have your back, and I know you will always have mine. I know we are only four years-old, but it’s pretty obvious to figure out the world we live in just does not seem normal right now. Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister… we’re all home a lot! In fact, there was a time where we were nowhere but home. Because of this pandemic right now, we’re not at our pre-school. We mix with friends occasionally and we wear these silly but necessary masks all the time. By the way… how do I always end up wearing the one with taco illustrations all over it? Anyway, my point is, I’m sure there’s a head full of doubt or at least questions for everyone. I’m glad we are young enough to maybe not understand all of that, but I do think there’s a road full of promise. I’m so grateful to have you with me every day to go through this together.

This song also speaks about dreams. Dad is big on this. Some may call him a dreamer, I’d say more of a go-getter and I admire that because….

“There was a dream and one day I could see it
Like a bird in a cage I broke in
And demanded that somebody free it.”

The eighth line in this song is, “Decide what to be and go be it.” I like that. I think we are observing what that means – how much you have to sacrifice and how hard you have to work to achieve it. But “B”… we may choose different paths at certain intersections of life, but I know like Scott and Seth – I’ll always have a best friend in my twin bro. We’ll always be there in support –  to go for it, with one of us as the encouragement when the other has a doubt. That’s my road full of promise because, “If you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected.”

Twin B to Twin A: “We Are The Champions” by: Queen.

Wow, that’s a good one, let me wipe a tear, my eyes feel “incredible”. The first song I’m dedicating to you is one that I love to sing. You mentioned there may be different paths on occasion, for example, I gravitate towards music and you are really into contact sports like hockey and football. That’s cool, but though this song right now is probably more associated with me, I really sing it thinking about you. Maybe I’m the voice and hold the melody (you’re pitch is more like a shout), but you have such a confidence that is the essential makeup of a true champion. “A” you know who you are and what you like. Just the other day on our big brother’s birthday you were talking about how you were going to play our friend in hockey, one-on-one. Without hesitation you boasted that you would crush him. Dude, you’re four and so is he! You will always be a champion to me in anything you do because I see how relentless you are in your dedicated approach. You’re also absurdly skilled and coordinated. I have speed like a cheetah, and you have the mental fortitude to thrive.

Yes, it’s fun to belt this song out in perfect timing, and you know I can harmonize with Freddie Mercury better than anyone else in the family, but regardless of meaning, my favorite time to sing this is in unison with you.

art by: Scott Soeder

Twin A to Twin B: “Red Hooded Sweatshirt” by: Adam Sandler.

Thanks, “B” that is big-time “kindness”. With all due respect though, I’m not gonna cry. So, my second song for you is off a comedy album. You know that funny dude we watched during last week’s family movie night? He was in Hubie Halloween, his name is Adam Sandler. Dad steals many of his one-liners and dad jokes from his catalog. Anyway, Sandler cracks me up and you know I have the most humorous personality. I mean, almost everyone at the table last night said how funny I was when we were doing our birthday tradition of stating our favorite things about each other. Honestly, I would have even said that about myself. So, given my unique personality, it should be of no surprise that I’m throwing some satire your way. The real reason I thought of you here is because of how much you love the color red. It’s your first, second and third favorite color as we all can tell by the outfit you’re sporting today – red Lightning McQueen shirt, red shorts and red shoes. I’m sure once winter rolls around, you’ll be living in your own red hooded sweatshirt, and you know what – I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Twin B to Twin A: “Lions and Tigers” by: Sleater-Kinney.

Haha, I’m laughing because what you said is true, but also because during that birthday compliment session, you mentioned everybody told me how radiant my smile is. For the last song here I picked “Lions and Tigers”. This morning, we plugged in our in-door bouncy house at 7am and turned the living room into a jungle gym. After we played “tackle” ourselves big bro came flying in and by accident we woke up big sis, and you know she loves the bouncy house, too. My point is – this song just reminds me of us brothers and sisters. We’re a bunch of beautiful lions and tigers together and the lyrics are relative to the here and now. Look how it starts –

26 letters from A to Z
L-A-U-G-H, E and there’s S…”

This just feels like a lesson we overhear in homeschooling. They say to “Rule with your head” and nail it with the line “And those lessons that you learn will carry on,” because we’re learning a ton from each other, and we always do it with a laugh. The most fun we have is the fun that we make together. 

I also love the fact that this is a song by a band that is all women. Sleater-Kinney seems like a group our sister would be in and I really look up to her. Like them, her creativity knows no bounds. And then there’s the line “I’d like to show you a million things…” and that reminds me of big brother. I know he’s your idol and boy, we are lucky to have such a captain of the kids leading the charge through this most confusing time.

The point is – I have you, you have me, and we all have one another. When it rains, we put our boots on and jump in the puddles. The last line of this song is, “I’ll be there if you call” and I think that’s an appropriate way to conclude our tribute. 

Love you, brother.
Love you, bro.

Happy birthday to us …“A joy that is shared is a joy made double,” and it’s my night to pick the movie.


~ All original artwork featured by: Scott Soeder

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