Monday, September 10, 2012

National Brothers Week? What?

I was unaware it existed, this "National Brothers Week", but I just saw it on Facebook so it must be true. I'm certainly not against honoring my brother for a whole week. He IS one of my favorite people in the world.
So,,,,,in honor of my brother on the first day of National Brothers Week, I'd like to quote an entry from my gratitude journal. I wrote it on his birthday this year.
May 4th, 2012
Thirty-three years ago today I became a my brother. Yes I know that sounds strange but let me explain. My brother was my first taste of how intensely a mother loves her child. I felt it unexpectedly at the age of 5 when Brian came home. It wasn't immediate. Not at all. I did not want a new baby at our house. I was the baby. I still remember dragging my feet down the corridor of the hospital a good 20 yards behind the rest of the family. Pouting, hoping to be noticed, waiting for someone to say, "Amy, what's wrong?" No one did. I saw him through the glass of the nursery. He didn't look like anything too special to me. My sisters and I had to stay with neighbors while my mom was in the hospital. The Walters. They had two boys. I hated boys. I couldn't even use the bathroom at their house because I was afraid a stupid boy would walk in. And here my mom was going to bring a baby boy to our house.
My next memory was of me sitting in the big orange flowered chair in our living room. It was my turn to hold the new baby. I remember feeling quite surprised at the smile that came to my face as he held on tight to my finger. My parents gushed at how much he loved me already and what a great big sister I was going to be.
I'm not exactly sure when he became mine. The moment in the orange chair definitely changed things but I was still jealous. He was always in my mom's arms stealing away her attention. But the older he got, the more he became a little person who adored his big sister. We shared a room and he learned how to escape his crib even before he could walk (he climbed everything, the door jams, the fridge, the fireplace). As soon as my parents said good night, he would climb out of the crib and come over to my bed wanting to sleep with me. A moment of hesitation was just for show. My answer was always yes. Every night I prayed for his safety and I worried about him constantly. I remember coming home from school one day after the fire department came to talk about fire safety. I went through all the scenarios in my head about how to get my brother out of the house in case of a fire. In bed that night I hugged him extra tight feeling sick to my stomach at the thought of anything happening to him.  He was my best friend and constant playmate. We would tie a bunch of laundry baskets together and make boats, pretending the carpet was the water. We played "Restaurant" and I was always the customer (just one example of how I learned to manipulate him). We drew roads in the carpet and played matchbox cars for hours and hours. Fisher Price toy towns would be set up all over the living room for days on end.
We obviously don't play like that anymore (unless our children are around and we can justify it) but Brian has continued to be a best friend throughout life. It was Brian who gave me away to Brad on my wedding day (you know, because men own just kidding, it was because our dad had died). After Brad and I got married, Brian lived in our basement while he was going to school in Bozeman and we would regularly go to lunch at Spanish Peaks, go on hikes up to the 'M', and ride our bikes up to Peets Hill (my job was quite, um, flexible).  He lives in Colorado now with his lovely wife, Amber and their two perfect kids, Sophie and Noah. We still see each other a lot and I talk to him as much as possible but it is never enough.
I've always used my own childhood memories as material during story time with my my brother has often been one of the main characters. That said, one night when I was snuggling my son, Fynn, I told him that he is my favorite boy in the entire world. He looked at me surprised and said, "Me? I always thought your favorite boy was Uncle Brian!"
Happy National Brothers Week, Brian. You're [one of] my favorite boy[s] in the whole world.

Brian and me during a visit while he was working in the Peace Corps in the Caribbean.


  1. Wow! That was really moving (sniff, sniff). Thanks, Amy!

    Um . . . do we get presents during National Brothers Week?

    1. Oh um...I'm not sure. Let me check on Facebook. :)