“either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out in the ocean.” – christopher reeve

yes, i opted so originally to give this post a quote as it’s title. yes, i have been on some sort of inexplicable month-long hiatus from the blog, which i will refrain from trying so helplessly to defend. and yes, i still am one of the coolest people i know. 😉

now that we’ve got that all established/re-established, let’s move on, shall we? 🙂

so, this may be news to some of you, but one of my very first roles in life was that of a “little sister” – and an awesome one at that. despite our 6 year age difference, my older brother and i somehow managed to be best buddies. i guess you could even say that growing up we were like a mini version of donny + marie osmond, with the exception of us being significantly cooler. {ok, i kid – we were nothing like donny + marie osmond. but, if we were – he’d totally be a little bit country and i’d be a little bit rock ‘n roll.}

ANYWAY –

my brother and i, we were an awesome duo. we played games; we made up games; we played radio talk show hosts {vanilla ice and paula abdul, to be exact}; we fought; he managed to pull out my two front teeth in a game of tug-of-war; we fought some more; we laughed harder; he had my back + i had his.

we still are an awesome duo.

will forever be.

the only difference now is that he is battling a mental illness.

this is not my story to tell in full detail, and it’s one that i share very vaguely with both hesitation and the utmost protection –  just as any other overprotective little sister would. so, here goes: my brother went from being the amazing older brother who went on countless adventures to the amazing older brother who now struggles to leave his very own house. there are only a handful of places my brother will now go to, and all of them still go far beyond his comfort level.

the reason i am sharing this is because on monday, july 9th, after many, many years of not partaking in any “adventure,” my brother decided that he wanted us all – him included – to bring skipper, the family dog, to the doggy beach. to most people, this is not a big deal –  but, for us, it was a bit of a miracle and a major step in a positive direction.

here is a picture of skipper and of skipper + my brother, paul at the doggy beach:

 

at the end of the day, not only did my brother face one of his debilitating anxieties – but he had fun in the process of it. was it his idea of the most ideal situation? no. i’m sure he would have much preferred an isolated beach in his backyard. but, he tried. he tried for himself and for the experience of seeing skipper at the beach for the very first time. hopefully, it’s just the beginning of many more adventures with my brother.  and hopefully, this little story of triumph will help someone out there who has been holding back from his or her own personal adventures and victories. 🙂

wishing you all a mini miracle of your own and tons of adventures!

<3 always,

ana patricia

p.s. here is  one of my favorite pictures of me and my brother on, what i can only imagine is, one of our annual car rides to wildwood, nj. 🙂

 

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