***One of my favorite people in the whole world is guest appearing on my blog today!!! If you don't know my sister, Sarah, you are one of the most unlucky people out there, because she is WORTH knowing!***
I don't really have a lot of "claims to fame", I don't even really have enough excitement in my life to regularly supply interesting subject matter to a blog of my very own. But that's okay, because my sister's life is VERY interesting (hello, she houses 4 CRAZY blonde BOYS!), and because she just happens to be my BFF, she is allowing me to "guest post" on her blog today. (AND because I promised I would say nice things about her) Even though, the subject is more on brothers than sister, we all know she is awesome, right? xoxo
My brother has always been the "big brother" type. He annoyed the heck out of us girls when we were younger (mostly by telling mom and dad that I was IMing boys again), and talked the whole brotherly "big talk" (like "ARE YOU GOING TO MARRY MY SISTER?!?!" when a boy couple-skated with my sister (Charity) at the skating rink.... at the age of 14), and did his fair share of bossing us, but for the most part I wouldn't say that I have had a very deep, heart to heart relationship with him like I have had with my sisters. We talk on the phone for a few minutes here and there, occasionally plan a surprise date for him to take his wife on, and one time we had lunch together before his wife and kids moved up here (in a small town, this was risking some serious smack talk since nobody knew I had a brother... like I cared) He lives 3 miles down the road from me now, and his kids are best friends with my kids, and we get together as families where he talks to my husband about boring man stuff (sports, jobs, hunting, etc) and I talk to his wife about VERY interesting stuff (baby butt rash, wreathes, love handles, etc), and the 8 kids run around like wild animals in my 1600 square foot house. It's fun.
But this week my big brother stopped by one evening to help Matthew and I move a HUGE piece of furniture down the stairs. Except, in a strange turn of events Matthew wasn't here. My kids were distracted watching a movie, and for the first time in many years, if not for the first time ever, my brother sat down at the table... just he and I.... and T A L K E D. Not talk about other people, or events or our families. We talked about us. I peeled an orange and passed him slices. We were brother and sister. We are so alike. And though he's only 4 years older than me, in my mind he will always be SO much older and wiser. He told me about his "quarter-life crisis" at the age of 25.... which I totally had last year! He brought up a song one split second before I was going to ask him about the same artist. He told me about significant dreams that have come to pass before his eyes, and I told him one time I dreamed a man in our church had a black eye, and the next Sunday he HAD one. And then we laughed our butts off.
He shared his struggles with believing God is everything we have always "known" He was... and I cried... because my mind struggles with believing those very same things.
After almost two hours he left, and I thought about our visit. I thought how many years I have had this same brother, and never had these conversations. I thought about HOW MANY people have brothers that they don't talk to, or even LIKE, and how heartbreaking it is. Now, given, maybe those peoples' brothers really are jerks... not just the tattling about lame IM conversations with boys.... but maybe those brothers are mean and hateful, or short tempered and greedy. But maybe not. Maybe all these people who have brothers that they don't talk to have just forgotten that brothers grow up and change, just like we do. And maybe the opportunity has never been there to get to know them again. I don't know, all I know is that now, even a week after our visit, I still get tears in my eyes from how much it meant to talk with my brother, my only brother in the whole wide world... and be his friend. Yes, I have missed a lot of years just living side by side, but I have a lot of years left to be real friends with him too. And I think I may go to lunch with him again, just to stir things up in this little town. :)
I daily give my kids the lecture about "What is more important, your juice cup, or your brother?" and "Who do you love more, Buzz Lightyear or your sister?" Because I know that my children will be miserable for MANY years in this house if they don't learn to love, and LIKE, their siblings. Because it's really our annoying siblings that teach us how to be good neighbors when we grow up. And the sister you shared a room with teaches you how to NOT freak out when your kids (and spouse) leave their stuff all over your once clean house (but I have definitely never called them pigs!). And by learning that you have to take turns pulling each other in the wagon down the driveway, you really learn that other people matter just as much as you do... even though you aren't them.
Your siblings know you the best. They've seen you pick your nose. They know that you used to sneak vitamin C's out of the cupboard and eat them like candy. Or that you played Barbies until you were 14. You hate them, they're your best friend. You tear up their favorite Lisa Frank notebook, you buy them that pair of shoes they've been wanting. They're the best, they're the worst.
But sometimes they're just the best.
And because I am feeling particularly blessed this week by discovering this diamond that I have allowed to stay hidden from myself, I want to encourage you to take that step. Go to lunch with your estranged brother. Call your sister that you always argue with for coffee. Or maybe, if you still live under your parents roof with them, just talk for a while without saying you hate them. ;) Because one day, they may be your only friend in the whole world, and you will be so glad they're on YOUR side.
It's never too late to befriend your brother.