Eighteen years ago today, my little brother was born. Coincidentally…my first ever trip to Disney World was cancelled, so I was a bit more sad about that than I was excited about having a little brother. I was six years old and wearing a lime green shirt and overalls the first time I met him. He was this squishy little thing that cried a lot and I just knew he was going to be my Dad’s favorite from then on.
I remember bringing him home from the hospital and our once loud house had to become extra quiet so that we wouldn’t wake that tiny, squishy and noisy bundle sleeping in the living room.
I remember his first birthday party photos…Mom sat him in a row of daffodils in our front yard and he made the cutest faces.
I remember him being two years old and falling off of my sisters bed and busting his forehead open. I also remember being terrified because I knew that he’d cut his head on the tea cup I’d broken earlier and hid under my sisters bed (whoops). He still has the cutest Harry Potter looking scar on his forehead, but its hidden by his perfectly-fixed hair (seriously…the kid uses more hairspray than I do to get his bangs to do the perfect “swoosh” underneath his baseball hat) these days.
I laugh when I remember dressing him up in my cheerleading uniforms and making him believe his name was “Nikki”. He still hates me for that. But it’s one of my favorite memories. Sorry, Nikki.
I remember playing with tractors for HOURS with that kid. I mean HOURS. We’d cut, rake and bail hay over and over on the living room rug. Seriously…..if we ever asked to stop he’d cry and say “Mom the girls won’t play with me”. I’D GET SO MAD.
I remember his first day of kindergarten. He was wearing a yellow shirt with a dinosaur on it and the tiniest Nikes you’ve ever seen. I also remember crying that day.
I remember leaving for college and watching him wait until the last possible second to cry…he seriously did NOT want to cry. He was a tough guy. He always has been. He told me he was glad I was leaving so he could have my bedroom. I told him that would never happen…but it did.
I remember when he found out I had a boyfriend in college. He was NOT happy and became the most overprotective guy I’ve ever seen him be. Nick was a total meanie the first time he met him. I don’t even think he shook his hand. I was embarrassed, but he was just “sizing him up” he says.
When he turned 16 I cried more than I’ve ever cried in my life. He was the baby and all of a sudden he was this weird almost adult who could drive himself around. No longer did he need me to drive him to baseball or need me to take him to Taco Bell on Friday nights. Ugh…I still cry about that.
Now, he’s eighteen and it hit me this morning that he is not an almost adult…he is a literal ADULT MAN. I hadn’t thought about it or considered how much my life has changed since the day I met that tiny, squishy baby but I honestly can’t imagine life without him.
Little brothers teach you a lot, don’t they? They teach you patience. You have to walk slower when they are little so they can keep up. And then they grow up and you find yourself patiently (or in my case, impatiently) waiting for them to come home or answer your text because you miss them so much.
They teach you anger management. That kid has made me madder than any other human in the world. He’d tattle and cry and get his way. He always wanted to be with my friends or for me to drive him around and let him listen to rap music in my car. Now, I couldn’t get him to ride with me for anything in the world. He makes me SO MAD when he has plans or says “no way, I’m driving AND I’m picking the music”.
Lastly, they teach you the most fierce, everlasting and hardest love you’ll ever know. I am overprotective and worrisome and clearly a crier. I get so worried about him. If he doesn’t answer a text I’m calling him. If he doesn’t answer the call I’m immediately calling my Dad. Nick gives the best hugs. He doesn’t like to hug in public. But there’s always a rare day when he doesn’t object and you honestly better savor that moment because it’s rare. He shows up, too. He may be madder than heck when he does, but he always shows up. If I need a tire changed or I forget my makeup bag, I know he’ll be there. He’s let me cry on his shoulder for about five minutes and then says “Okay, suck it up”. But for five minutes he will deal with it.
Little brothers, y’all. I cannot imagine life without one. I cannot imagine not spending hours driving tractors on the living room floor or spending summers watching him play baseball for hours. I’ve watched him grow from that tiny little boy with a slow, southern accent to a ferociously tall and soft spoken man. I sometimes miss that little boy, but goodness I don’t know what I’d do without who he is today. I was mad for about 23 years about that cancelled Disney trip. But you’re worth it, Nick. Also- we just got back from Disney World last week so I’m over it now.
Nick- you are the kindest, gentlest and funniest human I’ve ever met. I learn from you every single day. How to be strong and resilient despite the circumstance (even if that “circumstance” is Dad telling you that you better be home at 1 AM or you’re grounded). You’ve taught me how to drive a four-wheeler, how to bottle feed a calf, how to be less afraid, and how to be a good friend. You also taught me how to be a mom starting from the day you were born. I probably dropped you a few times, but I was the proudest and most protective big sister ever. I still am.
Little brothers. Goodness gracious.