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Many years ago, my parents decided to sit my sister and I down to tell us every “baby” of the family’s nightmare….you’re getting a sibling! My sister was ecstatic. I was devastated. What the heck did I want with another sibling? It wasn’t until my mom let me in on a little secret that I finally began to gain some excitement toward our changing family dynamics. She told me I was getting a brother, but it was our pinky swear promise not to tell anyone. My nine-year-old self was elated! My thoughts: “Mom told me a pinky swear secret? She’s awesome!” Now, fast forward a few months. I knew my mom had gone to the hospital in the morning before school, and when I got off the school bus in the afternoon, the first words I shouted to my sister and cousin were, “Did she blow?” I guess my younger self had no other logical way to ask whether or not my brother had arrived, but to answer the question as my nine-year-old self, yes, she did blow!
So we met at the hospital, and the years following were pretty typical. I got to watch him learn to sit up, play, say his first word, formulate his first sentence (“I see the moon, and the moon sees me”), take his first steps, smash his hands into his first birthday cake, and the list goes on. As he got older, the competitive cheerleader in me took over, and we played cheerleader. I taught him how to do gymnastics, and my sister and I threw him up in stunts (Our parents never approved of this, but what the heck did we care? It was fun!). We had great times together, but let me make this clear…growing up, we hated each other. Now, I hate the word “hate,” but boy did we really, really dislike one another! We fought with each other constantly (seriously constantly), while he and my sister were the best of friends.
When my sister went to college, I think he realized for the first time in his whole five years of his life that he was stuck with me, and I was stuck with him. That’s where our story of love and friendship truly begins. We watched movies, played games, had heart-to-heart talks, learned about each other, and watched each other grow. I helped him with his homework and taught him how to stand up to bullies. We took car rides together when I started driving, and we laughed and sang. One night we sang so much, and he stopped and said, “Wow, you’re really good. You should go on American Idol!” He boosted my self-confidence and is the reason I have no fear singing in front of people today (My sincere apologies to those whose ears may now suffer if he lied, and I am truly terrible!).
Soon enough, it was my turn to go away to college. After the bond that we had formed, I was devastated, but he visited me often and made more friends in my college residence halls than I did! When I introduced Alex (whom I had met at college) to my family, it was my brother who had the final say. Even at 11 years old, he saw it as his brotherly duty to protect his adult sisters! Flash forward to the present, and both my sister and brother are my best friends. We are geographically distanced from one another now, but we always find a way to reconnect. My brother continues to visit, although I’m convinced now he does so to hang out with Alex and Pinella! 😉
Truth be told, he is one remarkable kid. He’s kind to others, stands up to bullies (I’m still proud of him for that), is aware of his values, respects his elders, always makes time for his sisters, and is the most amazing, versatile (yet accident prone) athlete I’ve ever encountered. He makes me proud each and every day.
He’s the friend my nine-year-old self never knew I needed or wanted. Because of him, I’ve learned the definition of true friendship. I’ve learned that, through thick and thin, my brother, sister, and I will always be “the three best friends that anyone could have.” Finally, I must admit, our parents were right when they would say, “Your siblings are your best friends.” I may have hated the thought of a brother 15 years ago, but I am certainly thankful for him today! Love you, BK!
Don’t forget to “Like” and “Follow” Sit, Stay, and Blog on Facebook and Twitter! As always, thank you for taking precious time out of your day to support SS&B! For all of you dog lovers out there, stay tuned for a tail-wagging good read in my next post — “What It Means To: Have a
Spoiled Loved Dog!”