When I was much younger, I pined for a sister. I thought I was pretty hard-done-by and that I was missing out on the sisterhood that so many of my friends at school had. Looking back, my brothers were good sports. a couple of them let me dress them up and paint their faces. They played school with me, and they put up with me bossing them*. When I was a teenager I witnessed my friend and her sisters bicker bitterly over clothes that one or two had nicked and mistreated and I had that light-bulb realisation, “Oh… Holl, you couldn’t deal with this clothes-sharing thing.” So it’s just as well.
Anyway the lesson I’ve learned about siblings is that they just get cooler and cooler as time marches on. I have three brothers and each journey of friendship has been a text book lesson so different to the other.
ALASTAIR- the hard worker
Alastair is the hardest worker I know. He and I are 13 months apart in age, so essentially we grew up together. We learned everything important at the same time- how to treat others, how to talk kindly, how to be respectful, what things to laugh at, how to say “no”. My first disagreement was with Alastair. He was sure that he was the oldest because he was the boy, but I knew he was wrong. We learned everything new together. He was my first peer. It was competitive at times, but there was always a loyalty between us deep down. We grew through childhood in close quarters and I think as we’ve gotten older and a little further apart, I can see clearly how great he is. Alastair is the first person I was proud of. It was my right and my job as his big sister. I didn’t have the right or ability to be proud of my parents as I was too little, and I didn’t have the same kinship with my friends. Alastair was mine, and he was always impressive and easy to be proud of.
As he’s gotten older, that hasn’t changed. I love most about my brother that he works hard at all things, and it’s an exponential effort. The more he learns (and he loves to learn), the more effort he puts into everything. Nothing he’s learned in the past is wasted- its cumulative and meaningful. He’s innovative and driven by practical application. With age, I think our relationship means more to me as I have changed. He’s my first peer always. Now he’s a husband and father, and he’s saving up for grad school by working at Google.
LOGAN- the constant
Logan is the coolest cat in all the world. I remember him being brand new in our family, and watching him grow. What I love about Logan is that he’s the most true-to-himself guy that ever lived, from birth to now. He observes, takes it all in, and then chooses which way to go, with his own polished twist on things. He’s got the innate manners of a saint, and seeing you comfortable and happy is fulfilling to him. I guess in the case of Logan, I can’t say that I can appreciate him more as we’ve gotten older, because he’s consistently had a way of making me feel like I’m special to him. I wish I’d understood how unique and precious this is, sooner. The truth is, maybe I wasn’t mature enough to appreciate it when I was younger. Logan’s manner of love and friendship is something people work a lifetime to cultivate.
I think the older I’ve gotten, the more my eyes have been opened to how effortlessly talented Logan is. He’s subtle, refined, and just humble about things. He’s the kind of guy who if you ask “hey what did ya do today?” he’ll probably have something cool to tell you that he wouldn’t necessarily have felt the need to bring up had you not mentioned it. He’s too laid back to write a bucket list, but he’s done everything on your bucket list, just cause. Some great answers to that question I’ve received from Logan in the past:
“I sky dived! Yeah it was really great!”
“Cant talk. I’m about to jump in the Dead Sea.”
“Oh I’m in Paris with my basket ball team. they made me MVP!”
“I swam with white sharks!”
“Bunjee jumped. Got a head ache, but it was cool.”
“Kissed this girl.”
“High jump. Broke the regional record.”
“Had to go bail a friend out of jail in Zimbabwe.”
CONNOR- the surprise
Connor’s always surprising me. Mostly by how much he knows and feels and can articulate. He’s impressive and he’s real, and he’s the best friend you could have. I was on a swing set when I found out my Mom was pregnant with him, and I was so excited to meet him. Mostly because I was sure I was getting the sister I had asked for. I’d picked out her name and everything. I was surprised when Olivia Mary turned out to be a boy, but he was the greatest guy ever. I was smitten, and I’ve spent his whole life being surprised by how easily he picks up things. Maybe this is a youngest-kid thing- they have to work extra hard to keep up with bigger siblings to fit in? He’s been a man for a long time. Every time I see him he’s taller, and he’s found something new to add to his bank of talents.
I’m sure when Heavenly Father watches Connor, He sees His great plan of happiness embodied. He sees someone who feels deeply. He sees someone with the world at his feet, begging for his attention. He sees a kid who feels deeply. A kid who the Holy Ghost works with every day. A boy who tries hard, is honest and works hard. Someone who inspires others, and isn’t afraid to start over and over. He’s compassionate.
Love my boys.
*Little tid-bit about me: if you let me boss you, you have my heart forever. I know I’m a bossy person, I’m not oblivious to this personality trait. When I meet those patient souls who just let me have it, I mentally note it, and you have my loyalty and my future lottery winnings for all time.
That’s all folks! I’ve loved thinking over the life lessons I’ve learned over the years. Here’s some that I didn’t feel the need to elaborate on:
a. There’s no man in the moon, or at least I can’t see him and I don’t believe you can either
b. Knowing star formations is not impressive and easy to fake
c. I have no time for lazy song lyricists
d. Farts will always be funny no matter how old I am
e. Knowing a foreign language is the most impressive thing ever
f. Courage is something everyone ought to invest time in cultivating
g. Friends are people you can talk to about God
h. Not having to set an alarm for the following morning is what satisfaction feels like
i. Dishwashers are robots who do your chores for you (also some people wash their dishes by hand and then put that dish in the dish washer too. What’s up with that?)