Sunday, March 25, 2012

Little Big Brother

My brother is younger than me. Two years, three years. The gap varies based on who's just had a birthday. For the first time since we've both married, I'm visiting by myself. No husband or son came along. It's my birthday spring break adventure.

This morning found John and I snuggled up in the family room. No one else was up. Morning found us, he in the big chair, me snuggled into the corner of the couch. We were talking about educating our children and the state of schools taken over by testing. He's only 2 and a half years younger than me, but as he said "I prefer to think of it as you're 3 years older than me as of today and for half the year at least!"

My brother, John, or JT, used to chase me around the house with a blow dart gun. He was probably in middle school then. He never actually hit me, but I knew he could. He could pin a lizard to a scrub oak tree from twenty feet away. is a father. His accuracy fueled my screams and made run a little faster. He liked the chase, I think, and to take me down a notch.

His daughter, my niece is 4. We don't live close together, so seeing my brother and his family is special. Who knew that he takes videos of stuffed animal dramas at work and messages them home to my niece throughout the week? Currently, an orange dinosaur is raiding his change drawer and over indulging in candy from the vending machine. The poor creature had tummy trouble last episode. Who knows what JT will find at his desk come Monday! My brother does all the voices--bringing his daughter to the delightful "oh no" cliff only to postpone her delight until the next office installment.

Orange Guy (the dinosaur) is not alone in his repertoire. There's the "Ballad of the Bear Who Ran with Scissors," or the Bear that didn't hold his Mommy's hand in the parking lot, or the Bear that didn't cut his fingernails and ripped up his sheets. Another favorite is the story of the pig who jumped over the fence (and lost his legs), or the "Case of Poop in the Pants", the story of when Belle soiled her drawers. He tells stories. He built an "artist's loft" in a shed in the backyard.

My brother, lizard hunter, has grown up to be quite a Dad. How I love seeing it and seeing him, all grown up and fatherly. Love you, JT.


  1. What a wonderful relationship you have with your brother. His stories for his daughter are too funny. I hope they are preserved for future viewing. Have a great visit!

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your lizzard-shooting brother! :) The brother that chased me around the yard and had the potential to "beat me to a pulp" could now be written about in a much more teddy-bear-like manner as well. Sometimes it is the most beloved thing about being a grown-up, the relationships I have with my siblings now.

  3. How wonderful it is for you to talk of your brother as it often may seem as we are both brotherless due to the distance.

  4. I agree with Jen, a terrific tribute to your brother! I hope he got to read this! And I love the stories he performs for your niece. What a special connection!

  5. It's funny when little brothers grow up! My little brother is now a dad to my 4- and 6-year-old nephews. Thanks for sharing this great piece about your family.


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