This weekend my little brother is graduating from high school. I am so immensely proud and overjoyed. I remember when he was first born and I knew I now had a best-friend for life. I was at my grandmother’s house just waiting for my parents to leave the hospital. In between jumping aggressively on the bed I found myself praying he’d have eyes the color of chocolate milk, fat fingers like mini-candy bars, a smile that shifted the atmosphere and a laugh that brightened rooms. When I met him all I could see were chubby little arms and legs, he was a heap of fat begging for nothing but milk and sleep.
I was so glad my mom completed my request to a tee. Before my parents conceived my little brother I had drawn a family portrait in pre-school that included my mother, father, myself and a chubby little boy. My teacher assumed my mother was pregnant and congratulated her when she came to pick me up at the end of the day. My mom, who hadn’t even been trying for a second child, stood in shock as she tried to decide whether the teacher was insulting her weight or revealing some future plans only my teacher and I were aware of. When she finally did become pregnant I adamantly exclaimed that if my future sibling was a girl I would be very upset. So one can only imagine how delighted I was when I met Michael. He was my ray of sunshine…my very very chubby ray of sunshine.
I realize that I do not thank him enough for all that he is and has grown to be.
Thank you for teaching me the strength in Blackness
Thank you for teaching me the fragility in Blackness
I’m sorry I took your strength for granted
I’m sorry I ever questioned your masculinity (because it didn’t fit a ruler I created)
I know I’m not the perfect sister and I’ve made a lot of mistakes, especially when we were younger.
I didn’t mean to ever question your identity or the things you love/loved.
I was trying to find myself and tell you who you’re meant to be at the same time.
You were just a boy living your life the best way you knew how and I was trying to be the big brother you never asked for and God never designed for you to have.
I spent years throwing rocks to make your skin thicker when all you needed was someone’s hand to hold.
These are your flowers while you can still smell them.
I am more than grateful for a supportive, loving and caring brother who allows me to grow and who I’ve watched grow and learn. I think a lot of times older siblings take on the responsibility of being the example and parenting their younger sibling(s) but I’m grateful for being able to learn from you. You’ve taught me more than I can even measure. I love you and I’m so proud of you and all that you’ve been able to accomplish.
I know having me as a sister isn’t easy.
My personality resembles our mother’s…I talk with my hands and attempt to control every situation. Your personality follows after our father’s…you’re more laid back and relaxed.
I won’t reference every single fight we’ve had…
like the time I punched a hole in the wall or the scar I still have from your enraged fit ten years ago…
but I will say we’ve come a long way and I’m extremely grateful for our relationship and the fact that I have a confidant and best-friend in you.
I’m excited to see what God has in store for you.
Keep striving, keep learning.
Keep God first and don’t lose sight of your dreams. You’re already making us so proud.
PS: I’m glad people stopped asking if we’re twins so I don’t have to make a joke about how I’m obviously the cuter one…now everyone just assumes I’m the younger sibling…I’m not sure which one I abhor more. Thanks genes.
PPS: I love you Michael. You’re amazing and a single blog post could never explain how much you mean to me.
Here are your flowers while you can still smell them.
Happy Free-Thinking Friday everyone, I’ll see you on Self-Love Sunday!