This has been hiding in my drafts folder for approximately SEVEN YEARS. I wrote it when I was still blogging in all lowercase letters, it's been that long. Since the subject of this post now has a fantastic little family of his own, recently started working on his PhD in linguistics, and will be celebrating his 28th birthday tomorrow, I thought it might be fun to revisit the past.
Love you, Brad.
when we were little, my brother and i did not get along. i guess we were friends for a little while, back when we were too young to know you aren't supposed to like your siblings. but somewhere around fifth grade, i pretty much started ignoring him. i genuinely do not remember many interactions with the kid during most of jr. high. one time he got mad at me and jumped on my bare foot and almost broke it, but that's all i can dig up from about 1995 to my junior year of high school. kind of sad, now that i think about it.
then he was a freshman and i was a junior, and we all know that it is not cool to be friends with a freshman when you are a junior. especially a freshman who also happens to be your geeky little brother. my friend clay--ever the patron of cartoon network--started calling him dexter, in reference to his shortness, chubbiness, bespectacledness, and the fact that i was as much more popular than him as you can be in such a tiny high school. (not really a flattering comparison for myself, now that i think about it. deedee wasn't exactly the brightest bulb. fortunately the nicknames stopped with dexter.) my brother did all right for himself, i suppose, but i don't think his first two years at WHS were very easy. i didn't exactly stick up for the guy, and i'd gotten so good at ignoring him that i just continued to do so whenever possible.
then i went away to college.
once my brother wasn't living directly in my shadow--cuz let's face it, i cast a long one--things turned around for him. he made friends and he got involved in school activities and he grew (which i think made a huge difference, at least among the girls) and when i came home for christmas, i realized what i'd been missing out on all those years. he was a normal person. and i kind of liked him.
by the time he came up to BYU, he'd developed quite the personality. truth be told, i couldn't get enough of the kid, he was such a blast. we hung out pretty regularly. we even went to the before unheard of extreme of taking a class together...and a dance class, at that. best class ever. if you've never randomly foxtrotted with your younger bro in the pillow section of pier one, know that it is on my list of highly recommended activities.
i liked him, and every time i thought about it, it weirded me out. i hadn't actually liked my brother since he stopped letting me dress him up in my mom's old pageant dresses. i'd always loved him, on account of your supposed to love your brother and all, but liking him was another animal entirely. so when he left for a mission to mexico, i was surprised at how much i missed him. but i did. a lot.
flash forward two years and a bunch of emails, and he's home! huzzah!
it's awesome, but a little strange to have him back. he's the same old brother, for the most part, but every now and then he's, well, not. the loud, vivacious beast of a teenager who left in 2004 is gone and i'm not sure what to do with that. we'd known each other such a short time and i wasn't quite ready to let him go.
but i guess that's what happens when boys go on missions: they turn into mild-mannered mexican men. or just men. the corresponding adjectives probably depend a great deal on where they went.
my points are three: first, my brother is rad. second, i'm sorry i wasted so much of our lives before getting to know him, because he's rad and it's my fault we missed out on so much. third, he's pretty much my hero. talk to him for 10 minutes and tell me he's not your hero too. i know he's true with every fiber of my being.