Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Brother

Tomorrow my "little" brother arrives. He is now several inches taller than me so I am trying to transition into calling him my younger brother. In preparation, I have been on a major cleaning streak to get our house ready for his visit. I really enjoyed seeing pictures of him and I guess in my mind he will probably always be about 8 years old. There is enough of an age difference between us that he does not remember a time when M and I were not together. In our wedding pictures, he is so young!

I am the oldest of 6 kids, my dad remarried when I was 9 and with that marriage I gained a mom, a sister, and a brother. I loved our family and it was about as perfect as a family could be even in our tiny house. The night I found out that Eli was on the way, I was disappointed. I actually remembering thinking, "The baby is going to ruin everything."

The first time I held him, my opinion changed. I loved him more than anyone else in the world and he became the family mascot. He is the one who completed our family and really united us because he is related to all of us. He looks like all of us in different ways and has characteristics from each of us. Even though he is 12 years younger than me, he is probably the sibling I am the closest too.

Eli's upbringing was totally different than the rest of us kids. Us older 5 all had 3 parents (2 that actually parented us) and 5 siblings. Eli has 7 parents minding his business ALL THE TIME. When he was about 12 he called me at midnight on a school night just to talk. When I asked where mom & dad were, he told me that they were asleep and that no, he didn't have homework, I sent him to bed (from across the country). As a junior in high school, the rules my parents have for him are almost non-exisitent compared to the rules I had to follow. Despite it all, he is a great kid.

He makes friends with the foreign exchange students and attempts to learn their languages. His Spanish is decent and he knows a few German, Japanese, and Chinese phrases. He works at a grocery store and whenever someone from another country comes in, he greets them in their language and carries on as much conversation with them as he can. He is also friends with some of the most popular kids in school as evidenced by his facebook page.

His number one love is animals. He has loved them since before he could walk. No, he won't be a vet. He spent a summer working for a vet and it broke his heart everytime an animal had to be put down. If anything, he will become someone like Jane Goodall, he really admires her work.

Last summer he went on a mission trip to Belieze and it really changed his life. He loved being in South America and learning about a new culture. The kids he worked with really touched his life. He would love to become a linguist and go live in some untouched part of the world and learn about new cultures, preferably one that has parrots. He probably will too.

Tomorrow he is flying in, his first trip flying without anyone else. I am so nervous for him. His layover is in a city just over an hour away, just in case he has trouble so that I am close enough to go get him. I can't wait to see him!


Elizabeth said...

Your brother sounds like a generous and caring person :) That's what my dad did - became a linguist and went to Peru (where he met my mom!) And they own a parrot :)

kiLikiNa said...

it's so nice to have family like that, isn't it? my little brother and i are 13 years apart and he's still a brat. i hope when he's older, he'll mature a bit and we can carry on a decent conversation.

Alice said...

Oh I just loved reading about your brother! Mine is 10 years younger than me and it's such a special relationship when you have that age difference. I hope you guys have a great time together!!