Monday, February 20, 2012

Finding my story: The younger ones

Family GroupPhoto Credit: anyjazz65

I have already written about my parentsmy grandparentsmy great-grandparents and some other family members.  I had thought of moving on to some close friends and in-laws when I realized that I had forgotten some of my younger relations, especially my brother.  I know I'm a horrible person!  So I am writing this post to rectify that.

Something unique about my younger cousins is that I remember them as babies and I have had the privilege of seeing them grow up.  I was 10 when D was born.  He was born on Easter Sunday, so I remember being in the hospital in my Easter dress.  I wasn't happy about that because I really wanted out of that uncomfortable dress.  I also remember he was born with a full head of black hair.  I had never seen that before.  Today you can count on him to have a witty remark and to know exactly what is going on with the Cardinals.  I have always been a little amazed at his sister's blonde hair.  She was the first one in my memory to have blonde hair in the family.  That isn't the only reason she amazes me.  She is very bright and I don't just mean her intelligence.  She is a happy person who brings laughter and kindness into any situation.  I often wish I was more like her.  These two remind me that laughter goes a long way toward happiness in life.

There are 3 boys who are cousins to the two mentioned above and cousins to me as well.  B is the oldest.  His twin brothers are D and R.  These three are rather quiet.  Well D and R are becoming quieter as they get older.  I remember lots of family events where they were running from one part of the house to another playing some game they invented.  They were always willing to share in the fun as well.  As for their older brother, I remember his love for balloons when he was a toddler.  He just couldn't get enough of them.  Today he is a scholar and an athlete.  He was valedictorian of his middle school class. (In my part of Illinois, we graduate from middle school and have valedictorians and the whole bit.  I like it and kinda miss that NC doesn't do that.)  From day 1, he always been willing to share with his brothers.  The amazing thing that totally bowls me over about these 3 is the way they share.  They all have their special days with Dad to go to a Cardinals game or other event.  They don't fuss about not getting to go when he gets to go or not getting the same this or that as the other one.  They are the most generous siblings I think I have ever met.  I hope to  be as generous as they are with my loved ones.

The youngest of my young cousins, B and B, are a whirlwind.  They have been stubborn and determined since day 1.  They have also always been playful and loving and fiercely loyal to family.  They have not had an easy road to get where they are today, but you would never know it if you met them.  They are so positive about what is going on in life.  They find the silver lining every time.  They have plenty of times they are stubborn and determined to get their own way, like most kids.  However, there are many more times that they are stubborn and determined to find joy in any situation and love those around them.  These two stick up for each other and all their family members.  No one better say anything disparaging about their family around them because they will let you know how wrong you are.  I hope to be as determined as they are to love well and show loyalty.

This post would not be complete with discussing my brother.  I have tried to write this part of the post in my head several times and I just can't seem to get it right.  There are so many memories of my brother that I could share.  There are the times I stuck up for him in school.  There are the times he cooked breakfast or lunch for us both when Mom and Dad were working.  I remember him as a toddler hiding in the kitchen cabinets or under the side tables in the living room and peeking out at the rest of us to see if we were giggling yet.  Most of the time we were.  I remember being taught how to field a baseball and shoot a free throw along side of him.  I remember him going along with all the goofy games I made up.  I remember some epic fights, like the time I broke a window in the back door because he locked me out and was making faces at me.  No major injuries for either of us, praise God.  I remember picking on him a lot.  I'm surprised he still talks to me.  I remember one snow storm when we lived in Missouri where we went outside to play he was buried in the snow.  I remember going to see him play in the state championship for middle school baseball and high school tennis.  I remember him wearing some crazy secondhand store outfit to my college graduation.  I was slightly embarrassed and I'm pretty sure that's what he was going for.  (I was a bit uptight back then.)  I remember getting mad at him a lot because he always sounded so sure of everything he said.  I remember sharing a bedroom on Christmas Eve night, so we would both get up at the same time on Christmas morning.  I remember going on so many vacations with him and enjoying the time we spent together.  We never got bored playing together.  He is outgoing, confident, gregarious.  He makes friends easily and isn't afraid to try something new.  When he tries something new, he doesn't fail because he is that hard-working and talented.  Ever since high school, I have always felt a little less than when I am next to him.  I am not any of the things that he is.  I am not outgoing.  I am not always confident.  I am not gregarious.  I do not make friends easily.  I am terrified of trying new things.  My parents never compared us because we are each different people, but I have found myself comparing us quite a bit.  I have never felt like I measured up to him.  I have always admired him for the reasons I listed above and hope to be a little more like him.

Do you have siblings or younger relatives that have made an impact on you?  Tell me about it.

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