The Sappy One

Lately I have been reminded of how quickly life goes by. If we aren't careful, we miss out on important moments or even worse, the small, mundane moments that would have led to wonderful things. It's no surprise I've been thinking about time and life and what the important things really are. This year and especially this last month and next few months to come are chock full of huge changes and accomplishments.

I've talked about my family a lot on here and I've shared about my little brother. He's such a crazy kid that I just love to death. His name is Aaron but for the last ten years or so, I've called him Butch. I don't even remember why but its how it is.

Its kind of funny for me to think back at growing up with him and what it was like when he joined the family. See, I was the youngest of five kids for six years. There's my sister who is ten years older than I am and then 3 brothers and then there was me.

For six years.

My baby brother was born at home in 1994 and we didn't know if he was a boy or a girl. I remember being allowed to stay up super late (for me anyway) with my other siblings and we all just sat in the living room waiting and waiting. My dad finally came out at 8 something PM and said, "Well, its a boy!" I have no idea what all the other reactions were but me... I was sitting on the arm of the couch and I slapped my hand to my forehead, fell backwards on to the couch and while crying yelled, "Not ANOTHER one! I wanted a SISTER!" 

Since he is the baby of the family, he was pretty spoiled and during his toddler, 5, 6, 7, years, we had major issues with each other. Sure, we could play nice but for a long time, I felt persecuted by this little brother of mine. Throwing fits and fibbing to get me in trouble. I guess now I know how my older brothers felt about me! The older he got the more we could do stuff together and not tear each others heads off.

Lucky for me this kid has never held a grudge against me. When he was four (I think) I accidentally dropped him on his head which got split open and he needed stitches. Nice right? When he was a little older, I can't remember how old, we were at a park with our cousins. One cousin and I were babysitting the younger ones and off in our own la la land talking. Well all of the sudden I see my brother running towards us with his hand over his mouth and blood POURING all over the place. It seems he thought he was Superman and had jumped from the top of one tube slide to another but he missed. Instead of his hands and feet finding traction, his front tooth caught the plastic, dug into it and decided to stay put while the rest of him fell to the ground. His PERMANENT front tooth ripped straight through the bone and gums, root and all. Long story short, I'm lucky he wasn't kidnapped by the lady who was driving by at the time, stopped to see if we needed help and my cousin and I in all of our older sibling smarts put my brother and her little sister in this lady's car and hoped they'd be waiting at the house when we managed to get down there with the other kids and strollers. Yeah, that part of the story has been kept secret between my brother and I until now.

He has had more accidents that required stitches, plastic surgeons, and doctors than everyone else in our family combined. He once tried to pick up a rock that had landed in a bed of coals but ended up picking up a coal and his poor hand looked like it had wet tissue all over it for weeks. His finger went through a belt sander and he didn't have a finger tip or fingernail for a long time. I don't think anyone kept count on how many times his face met the pavement and the pavement won. His head met a church pew on more than one occasion and after a while, seeing his face without cuts, scratches, and scabs was like seeing Big Foot.

During my 'troubled teen' years, he always asked me if I was okay and would be the first to offer a hug when I got done having sit downs with my parents. Whenever I got hired to take care of neighbors animals while they went out of town, he's the only one who would help and not demand some of the money I made. He also was the only one at the dinner table who'd help me out on the 'green bean front'. See, I HATE green beans. More than any other food but growing up, we had to eat every bite of food put on our plates or it was early bed time and no dessert all week. No matter how I tried to eat them, I'd gag, spit them out or end up making myself sick because those things are NASTY! For my brother, he hated pasta. Well, he loved green beans and I loved pasta so as soon as my parents left the table and had their backs turned to us, we'd swap plates really quick, finish each others food, and switch plates again.

Super stealthy.

For a few years, this brother of mine and I were the only two children left at home.

My sister Amber got married when I was 9, then there was Justin who got married in 2001, Ryan who went on an LDS mission and then was living on his own when he got back and Jared who is two years older than I am and left on an LDS mission when I was a Junior in high school. That meant it was just Aaron and I at home with our parents. One year, our parents took us to San Diego and we went to Sea World and Legoland and a bunch of other places. We had SO much fun. That little brother of mine had definitely grown on me.

In 2006 when I graduated from high school, he was in 6th grade.

The night before graduation we were in my room talking and he asked what I planned on doing. At this point, I was involved with an older guy I'd been dating for a long time. I hummed and hoed around that question because my plans involved what was up to that point, a secret plan to marry this guy and move out. My baby brother in all his 12 year-old wisdom told me to make sure that whatever I did, I was happy.


I've never told him this and I don't know if he even remembers that conversation but a few months later, when I was finally brave enough to break up with the guy I was 3 weeks away from marrying, who had been anything but good to me, its that little piece of advice that helped me the most.

Thank you Aaron.

I am so glad he joined our family. I love that even though I'm older and married and 2,000 miles away, we still have an amazing relationship. He calls me all the time just to talk and it makes my day, every single time. We can talk about anything, talk about everything and he really is one of my very best friends.

My baby brother graduates from high school today. I can't hardly believe that he is old enough for that to happen... Or maybe its that I can't hardly believe that I am old enough for that to happen. My heart hurts really bad that I can't be in AZ to watch him walk across that stage, towering over everyone and get his diploma but I think he knows how much I wish I could be there.

I shared this on Facebook last month but I just have to share it with all you Lovelies too.

I have THE most amazing baby brother in the world!! For the last five years he has been learning to fix airplanes, build airplanes, and fly airplanes all while attending junior high and then high school. He's maintained a high GPA, applied to and got accepted at BYU Provo AND got awarded a half tuition, four-year scholarship.

All while working 40-70 hour work weeks he carries on a fantastic social life, takes online college courses, and attends high school. He has saved up the $10,000 it costs to serve an LDS mission, paid for himself to go to Washington D.C. and several other trips with his school, and he pays for all of his own stuff. 

He is the sweetest guy I know and is incapable of doing a single unkind thing. He was Varsity Basketball Captain, earned his Eagle Scout, and flew across the country in a plane he built. He has been working his butt off to earn his pilot's license which he'll have done by August, just shortly after graduating high school. 

He's ridden bulls, hiked the Grand Canyon, and he recently added another life accomplishment to his list by JUMPING OUT OF AN AIRPLANE AT 13,000 FEET!

It's all true too.

This kid is someone who is fearless, kind, sincere, and sticks up for his beliefs. Now that I have been writing this and crying for the last two hours, I'll wrap it up. Mr. Superman keeps laughing at me and telling me I'm acting like a mom.


He's six years younger than me, six inches taller than me, a little quirky, a lot crazy, an authentic cowboy and has done more in his 18 years than I could even think of in my 24. 

I'm sure if he were to ask me for advice I'd be at a loss. He's much wiser than I ever was and the only piece of advice worth giving to him would be his own words he spoke to me six years ago.

"Make sure, whatever you do, that you're happy."

Butch, you do me proud brother! I love you! 


Jenifer said...

Congrats to your brother. What an awesome sister you are :) I have a baby brother too and he is my best buddy too! Brothers are awesome

Amanda said...

Girl, you got me tearing up over here. I can feel your pride through your words, and that is the best thing ever.

Jen said...

This is a wonderful post! Your brother sounds like an amazing person. :)

Rookie said...

Ohhh... this made me cry :)