I have written a fair amount about my family members in these pages, but this week I want to talk about the evolving relationship I share with my younger brother Shane.

Shane is almost exactly two years younger than me and this week my little brother celebrated his 35th birthday.

Our birthdays are two days apart, and as kids my parents used to throw us joint birthday parties, which usually had a Halloween theme, and they were all gatherings we still talk about to this day. I remember one year my dad and his friend Ralph thought it would be great to disguise themselves as a vampire and a werewolf and scare the bejeezus out of us and all of our friends — my mom squashed that plan real quick at about the time two of our party guests burst into tears.

Then there was that time the party somehow made a hard left turn from traditional preteen party to all-out food fight. My brother and I spent the better part of that evening scraping birthday cake off the garage walls and apologizing profusely to my mom, who spent hours decorating prior to the festivities.

I can't believe so many years have flown by since the days when we reluctantly shared the same group of friends due to our closeness in age and annoyed each other endlessly, as siblings often do.

Because our lives took slightly different paths as adults — he started his family, I started working here — our experiences have been quite different. Somewhere along the line, I feel like we almost switched roles while we weren't paying attention.

My brother was 21 when he had his first children, twin boys who are now my awesome 13-year-old nephews. I was 23 years old then, just focusing on work and wrapping my brain around the idea of being an auntie to these two tiny beings who shared my brother's DNA.

I remember being amazed at how quickly my little brother, who still draws chuckles from old friends at the mere utterance of his name thanks to his constant boyhood antics, adapted to being a dad. It was like it came naturally to him, but since this was well before the start of my adventures in parenthood, I just didn't get how that kind of change could come so fast.

One time, when the boys were maybe a couple of years old, they were getting into some thing or another and my brother stood up and immediately pulled out all the oldies but goodies our parents used to come out with when we were being bad. You know, classic lines such as, "because I said so."

When he came back into the living room and reclaimed his previous position in his recliner with a nod of finality, I asked him, "Dude, when did you get so parental?"

"I don't know," he said with a laugh. "When I became a parent."

Touche. What do I expect after asking such a silly question?

But I didn't truly understand until I had my own child a few years down the road, a boy I named after my brother. Suddenly I had no trouble determining my son's state of well-being just based on the sound of his cry, and I must admit I've since used the "because I said so" line more times than I can count.

Even so, I still feel like my younger brother has this wealth of experience in this realm, and because of the difference in the ages of our kids, he will always be a little bit ahead of me on that front.

From watching his family grow over he years and seeing what great little people he has raised so far, I know all that parental behavior will eventually pave the way for my little boy to grow into an equally fascinating young person.

And there you have it, a big sister finally admitting her little brother is in many ways much wiser than she will likely ever be.

That said, Happy Birthday wishes go out to my big little brother this week. Why? Well, because I said so.