Tuesday, February 17, 2015

To My Brother

This is a re-post from a few years back....but I am missing my little brother, and I hope you will indulge me.  I cannot think of newer words that could mean any more than these.  Andrew, I know your plate is extremely full, and it seems there will never be enough minutes in the day to fit in all the pieces.   You are doing a good work.  Keep the faith!  I am praying for God-proportioned energy for all the dreams He is building in your heart.  

Dear Brother,

Sometimes, I laugh inside when I hear my little boys call you Uncle Andrew.  When did that happen?  When were we ever big enough to have titles and children of our own?  Somehow it seems we leaped right out of tree climbing and tumbled to the present grown-up life. 

I remember the day you came into my world.  I watched as mom went off to the hospital, and I waited anxiously to hear the news of boy or girl.  I was determined to see a baby blue blanket when we finally met.  Sure enough, screaming at me on the other side of the hospital glass was, in fact, a baby boy.  You were so strange and red.  I was a bit perplexed at your tininess.

I watched you grow.  You became this little devil of sorts in cowboy boots that packed a deadly blow to my shins.  I am sure most kicks were a direct result of my desire to dress you in doll clothes and force you to wear pink ribbons in your snowy, white hair. 

Not long after, I found myself spending hours of my life in the bleachers cheering as you would round the bases and crack the bat.  It was pretty fun watching you become a little athlete. First it was a ball on a T, then a whirling machine, and one day you became the pitcher.  Your uniforms got bigger, and your socks got really stinky.

Then, one day I left for college.  You started driving and called me when your car went over the hill and got stuck in the neighbor's yard.  Surely I could break the news to mom and dad better than you, or so you thought.  You teased me about my clothes, and I helped you pick out a present for your first girlfriend.  You went to prom and moved to Spain. 

I crossed an ocean to see you in that high school cap and gown, and yet somehow I still saw cowboy boots and diapers filled with rocks and toy pistols.  I hugged your neck and squeezed you tight the day you got married. I sang in the balcony, all the while holding back tears as reality hit. 


We shared a million ordinary moments together in life.  We shared a few exceptionally special moments along the way.  We argued over who's turn it was to do the dishes. We raced down the stairs together every Christmas.  We rode a million miles over the mountains to see our grandparents and cousins.  We battled for space in the station wagon, and wiggled with joy as the trip would sometimes bring more snow with each mile.

We loved, hated, fought, laughed, and screamed.  We celebrated each other and envied each other.  We shared a home and a family.  We shared one tiny bathroom.  You locked me out of it many, many times.  We played horse in the driveway, and fell in love with a dalmatian puppy we named Chance.  We made many golden memories. 

We grew up and went our separate ways.  I became a mother and you became a father.  We get bills every month and have to remember to change the oil in our cars.  Somehow, as I watch my own boys learn how to be siblings, I am reminded so much of you and those years at home we shared.  With each bowl of Cheerios poured and fights over toy tractors, I remember what little boys are like.  Every time I find another pair of blue jeans with knees completely gone, I am reminded what playing outside means to a little boy. 

I am a better mother to my wild, rambunctious boys because I had a little brother to teach me things.  I give them space to grow and learn.  I let them get messy, and I am very familiar with the pile of dirt that seems to exist in every small tennis shoe in my house.  You, my dear brother, have given me so many sweet, simple lessons on mothering boys. You didn't even know you were teaching me, but you were.

With every sweaty head and Lego under foot, I see glimpses of the past.  I love you more in those moments than I can put into words.  I am so happy that blanket was blue.  I am so thankful that I shared life with a brother.  I am so tickled to hear my little ones say, "When can we please go visit Uncle Andrew?".   We all love and miss you so.

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