To Honor Jared Michael

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Written in February, ’13.

I spent most of the last hour on the phone with my baby brother. Ok, so he’s not so little anymore. He’ll be a teenager this year! (saucer eyes)

I was mixing bread dough part of the time, but I didn’t want to hang up.

Our conversation was random…anything from cars, honey, food he craved after being sick with stomach flu for a few days, favorite movie scenes and characters, books, the weather and how we cant wait for summer/swimming, birthdays, nephews, and everything else under the sun. 🙂

I used to dislike my brother. Deep down, I loved him, but big sisters can be easily annoyed and unkind to little siblings when she (big sister) is selfish and immature and thinks she is so much more important and grown up. (I repent. 🙂 )

It upsets me now to think back at how innocent he was when I used to take my troubles and frustrations out on him. He simply wanted to be involved in my life, and I was the one who should have made that happen. I had rough early teen years, but still, he didn’t deserve my hormonal wrath. 🙂

I am amazed at him. Through the years, he has never held a grudge against me. Even when I was gone from home and going through so much pain and junk, he never stopped liking his big sister. He missed me, and every time I talked with him on the phone, he had this sad voice that longed for everything to be ok. I was just too messed up to be there for him like I should have been.

It makes me cry looking back, but I am so thankful that God brought so much supernatural beauty out of human ashes. The present and future just get better because of an incredible Father.

Jared is such a forgiving young man. If I go back and apologize for being too hard on him or something said or done wrong on my part, he will quickly say it’s ok. In his next breath, he has already forgotten it and wants to hang out with me. 🙂

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Words can’t describe how proud I am of who he is becoming despite any odds that have been in his young life. I am amazed at his unconditional acceptance of me and others.

Now that we are both older, I value time with that boy like never before. He never calls me in that sad voice anymore. It’s always, “Hey Bren!” He just wants to talk. He leaves me crazy voice mails that make me laugh. He misses me, but he doesn’t sound lost. I think life got put back together for more than just me. He’s more carefree, yet more mature.

He rarely complains to me. I was a bad example to him for too many years, but he has definitely passed up my maturity level at that age in some ways. :p

Now that he’s not little anymore, I constantly have to remind myself to treat him like the mature, young man he is. I try to talk to him like a grownup. And trust me, that boy is smart, and I know he understands so much more than he lets on.

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I’m curious to see him grow and discover his talents and personality more.

It’s amusing having serious conversations with him. I love drawing him out and pushing him to figure where he wants his life to go. I like watching him think for himself.

Cabob has fun challenged him to “be” and “do” in life, and it is so fascinating to see his response to encouragement from an older guy. It’s one thing for a big sister to say, “You’re smart;” It’s another thing for a man to challenge you to be the best you can in preparation for a bright future. You know, man to man talks.

My hubby likened the little every day choices throughout life to eating plain sugar or steak and protein. Some sugar is good, but it’s only a temporary boost. Protein makes you strong, and is good for the brain.

“Ok, let’s do something productive. No sugar.”  Lol. I heard that a lot over Christmas time when we were with my family. Jared acts annoyed sometimes, but he doesn’t seem to get tired of us sooo. :p

We let him go with us when we drive places, and I’m amazed at how smart and mannerly he is. Yeah, he gets hyperactive with caffeine and when he’s excited to see me, he jumps up and down and gives very violent greetings/hugs. I holler for mercy and insist he is gentle with the ladies. haha

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If I ever call for help from my hubby, boy Jared runs! 🙂 Boys. They give each other a hard time.

One interesting change in my almost teenage brother is public affection. I love it. He tells me he loves me on the phone, and he’ll randomly want to hug me or pat my arm. “Hi, sis.”

He compliments all his sisters often…maybe a pretty shirt or piece of jewelry or hair style. “I like your outfit today. You look nice!”

He doesn’t seem to have favorites with his sisters. I don’t think. ? 🙂 I’ve heard him say, “You look pretty today.” or “I like your outfit” to each of his sisters, including myself.

Of course, whichever sister he spends the most time with at a particular time he may consider “bossy,” but he still compliments her and wants to spend time together, “doing stuff.”

I really admire the graciousness and maturity he has shown growing up among all the females in his family. Thank goodness the male population is growing in our family. More power to husbands! 😀

No one is perfect, but I just want to say I am impressed with how much nicer he is to mom than I was at his age. Sometimes he mentions something mom didn’t let him do, but I rarely hear him say negative things about her. If he does have something negative to say, he states facts without bitterness. I might say, “I’m sorry she doesn’t want you to —-. Maybe she will sometime. You’re mature to understand where she’s coming from though.”

He’ll say, ” yeah, I know,” then move on.

He loves when Mom plays games with him or helps him with homework. I often ask him what she’s doing or what they did today. He always knows how mom is. “She’s really good! It’s sunny outside, and mom likes it.”

He’s happy when Mom’s happy. 🙂

He’s at the stage where he cares how he looks too. I was so surprised when he didn’t  like a picture we took together because his hair was weird.  I freaked out. He’s not little anymore! I started noticed a change in his clothes. I commented on his fashionable shoes, and he told me he picked them out himself. Ooh.

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He likes hunting just like his daddy. He also likes fishing. We have that in common. He’s getting better at not getting the line tangled too. We both learn. Poor hubby of mine always fixes our messes. ha.

Jared seems to remember Dad a lot. He only had four years with Dad, but they are so much alike.

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He definitely has a Bender face. Round 🙂 I have it too.

I love that we both love medieval time movies and stories. “Whats your favorite part?” He always asks me that. Then we proceed with the discussion.

We both like mystery books and movies. In another life, we’d probably both be CIA agents or spies. 😀

I don’t share his love for cars, but that’s ok. He loves me if I buy him a new car for his collection, and I’m happy for him. heh. He is almost a walking encyclopedia when it comes to hot cars. He has racing games, and he watches shows about cars too. He is smart! I’m blonde when it comes to those things.

~March 1

Finally finishing this up.

I got a letter from Jared the other day. I sent one in reply. Completely made my day to see my little brother’s neat handwriting So grown up. He’s acting in a play for his year end school program. He’s excited to come visit me this summer. You know, life stuff.

He finished the letter and signed it the “Bender Bomb.” I am grinning from ear to ear just writing that. I am just so amused at that guy’s sense of humor. 😀

Ah, I am thankful that after a row of girls, Mom and Dad had a boy. Even though Dad only enjoyed him for four years, he has brought humor, blessing, personality, and energy all his own into our family from day one.

I love you, buddy! You’re my favorite brother! 😉

~Mid morning, the mail lady honked, and I ran out to retrieve a package sent from my Mama who lives far away. I was so excited.

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Delicious organic coffee that I am hooked on, plantain chips and salsa from her recent Honduras trip are a few of the things she sent.

YUM! My husband was floored about the plantain chips and salsa.Thanks, Mama. You made our day!

©BK

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