It was 1993, the year I associate with Pittsburgh’s infamous blizzard on Halloween night. Some parents trekked through the feet of snow with costumed and coated children perched on their shoulders, some abandoned the tradition altogether, preferring not to brave the bitter cold.
And then, there was my family. Halloween would not be ditched in any case, though the outside house-to-house method would be temporarily revised. A championship of games would determine who won candy instead; this idea only thrilled my brother, sister, and I that much more.
I was a mouse that year, my brother a pirate, and my sister Barney, the big purple dinosaur. Though little, I was a force to be reckoned with, especially during musical chairs. “Monster Mash” sounded through the air, as Ryan, Courtney, and I rounded the two coveted chairs. The music stopped and the mouse and pirate were victorious: no love for Barney.
It was getting serious now. There were two competitors and one chair, as the pirate and mouse eyed each other skeptically. The pace of our walk quickened as the anticipation of silence grew more and more. Then, the chair was to my left, and the music ceased. I sat. I sat!
But then disaster hit. Ryan sneakily hip-bumped me off the chair, as he sat down to claim victory. My victory had been stolen! In my four-by-four foot, four-year-old world, that was the end of life as I knew it. I cried to my mother about my brother, the cheater.
I should have known. He was a pirate.
This was just the beginning of the high level of competition between my Ryan and I. Though I didn’t know back then, all the teasing and tormenting was also the beginning of a highly valued relationship. Today, his impact on my life is prevalent, and I could not be any more grateful, even if I did get slightly less candy than he did that Halloween.