I grew up the only girl between two brothers. My husband was the only boy between two sisters. He often says that having a brother is a must, while I argue that something is always missing without a sister. We just each missed that sibling growing up, and there’s merit to both our points of view, but I do have to admit how very thankful I am that God surrounded me with boys from a very young age. Just our sibling dynamic has taught me so much.
For example, I learned that when it comes to older brothers, you should always ‘do as they say, not as they do.’ Picture a young girl, about 10, with her best friend standing at the top of the stairs. It’s night time and the best friend is sleeping over. Parents and younger brother are finally asleep, so older brother, about 12, decides to put on his leadership cap. “Shshshsh…,” he whispers to the already quiet girls as they all start to descend the stairs, “we have to be super quiet so we don’t wake up my parents.” No sooner had the words escaped his mouth than he proceeded to stumble as loudly and noisily as humanly possible down the steps! Do as they say, my friends!! Pay no attention to what they do!
Having an older brother also taught me the very important concept of sharing. He came to me one day–we may have been in high school–and said, “You have to lend me some money. I have this insider tip on a stock, but I have no money. Front me for this; we’re GUARANTEED a hefty payback! We’ll split the profit!”
It was an insider tip, people, why would I refuse? My brother just wanted to share the wealth…how thoughtful that he wanted to share this coming good fortune with me!
So I gave him the money. And I was so excited about the investment I’d made–WE’D MADE–that I counted the days til our big payoff. Twenty some odd years later, I’m convinced there’s no such thing as an ‘insider tip,’ and I wonder if maybe sharing is overrated, too.
No, but seriously, over the years he’s proven to me that he’ll always be there for me. Like, for example, this past summer when we were all over his house. The kids were jumping on the trampoline in his backyard, and I hadn’t been on a trampoline in…forever, so I decided to join them. After I stepped on the trampoline, I noticed my brother came outside, onto the balcony, and was watching. I jumped and jumped and laughed with the kids, then a short while later, my body made me admit that a trampoline is no place for a 30-something, and I took my butt back inside. As I walked into the house my brother says, “I couldn’t help watching you. I was just waiting for you to fall straight through it to the ground!” See people, he’s always there for me!!
Okay, for real this time. Over the summer my kids and I spent lots of time with my brother and his family. And he made it a point to show my kids things they wouldn’t otherwise see. And he never thought of how much it would cost him, or how maybe his money might be better spent elsewhere…he just wanted us to enjoy ourselves. No matter how many thank you’s I say, they will never be enough.
In this day and age, I know that he is one in a million. I Praise God and Thank Him everyday for blessing me with him, and I pray that he and his family enjoy health, happiness, strength of faith and all the prosperity of this life and of the Hereafter. Ameen.
(In a future post I’ll tell you all about how he taught me to ride a bike by steering me into the woods, and how, when we were a bit older, he hid in the shower once in an attempt to skip school! Clearly not the brightest teenager you’ve ever met!)