Tag Archives: brothers

For My Brother

Today is my baby brother’s birthday. He’s 28 years old and I’m shaking my head. It doesn’t seem possible that we’ve grown up so much. I can remember the day he was born. I was 6 and I stayed home from school so I could go to the hospital. I was too young at the time to realize my family doesn’t do anything in half-measures, but looking back, I shouldn’t have been so surprised.

I’d known mom looked like she was about to give birth to a horse, but that didn’t compute in my mind until I saw him. My sister (8 years older than me) and I went to the nursery to gaze at our new sibling. He was the biggest baby there. I’m not lying. When he was born, he weight 11lbs, 15oz and was 23″ long. He had this thick black hair and looked like ET. I was six, I had to try to make him seem familiar somehow!

Anyway, he was so big, everyone all over the hospital had to come to see him. (Remember Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Twins? How much bigger Arnold’s infant self was compared to Danny’s?) Well, next to the other babies, he looked massive. He didn’t fit in the infant clothes the nursery had so they had to send up to the pediatric ward to find him a gown. When I held him the first time, his body stretched from my chin to my knees.

My stepdad was in awe of what he’d made. Mom had told him he would have one shot at a son and he’d better make it good. And boy did he

My baby bro never got smaller. It didn’t hurt that he was allergic to milk so had to drink soy milk his entire developing years. When he was older, he didn’t care if he ended up with a rash, he drank milk like it was his salvation. By the way, milk really does a body good cause much later, he was struck in the chest by a steel beam and walked away with only a bruise.

His size always meant he bore the brunt of malicious attention from much older kids. When he was only four years old, he looked like he was seven or eight. When he was in school, he had to learn to defend himself against kids who thought ganging up on the big boy was fun. But it didn’t stop there. No, he had to learn to control his strength. At 3, he broke my middle finger. At 9, he broke our nephew’s leg. At 15, he broke his friend’s leg (who is currently studying to become a priest, so I fear there’s no hope for my brother’s eternal salvation). He never did any of those things on purpose, he was just big and playful. I only remind him of my broken finger once a year…okay, maybe twice.

By the time he finished growing, he was a hulking 6’2″ lad with more hair than the wolf man, a big heart, and a sick sense of humor. (My sister and I taught him well.)

So today is for my Phee-Phee Bug (nickname we torment him with). Happy Birthday, sweetie. You’re the best little big brother, a sister could have.

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Countdown to a Wedding – The Groom

Continuing the countdown, I’m going to discuss my brother, the groom.

To be honest, part of me isn’t surprised that some woman snapped him up. Phillip can be incredibly sweet without being touchy-feely. Oh, he torments everyone, don’t get me wrong. His poor godchild. Sometimes I wonder why the girl loves him so, but she absolutely adores her parrain (godfather in Cajun French).

He’s one of those guys people are instantly drawn to. It probably has to do with him being such a big, friendly guy. He’s tall and cuddly looking. I remember being in college and hanging with my friends. One time I brought him with me to a friend’s house and from then on out, any time I went out with them they would ask me where he was. I didn’t understand it. I mean, sure, he’s cool…because of me (thank you!), but he’s my little brother! One of my friends has a brother Phillip’s age and said Phillip didn’t act like kids his age. They loved hanging out with him and to be honest, I did as well. My friends became his friends and they’ll all be at the wedding to watch him marry his lady-love.

On the other hand though, I wonder how in the world my sister-in-law is going to live with him. I shudder sometimes just thinking about the hell she is going to go through. He’s lazy. He is! He doesn’t like to do household chores (although he sure cleans up before she comes over and I’ve heard he even cleans her house…the traitor!), and don’t ask him to cut the grass.

Like I said, he torments his godchild and I know he torments his fiancée. He badgered her about her dog so much she gave the dog to her parents. My mom, sister, and I were horrified. Me especially because if you don’t love my dog, you don’t love me. It wasn’t until this weekend that we learned he’s afraid of Chihuahuas. Apparently, when he was younger, his friend had two of them and used to scare him with the little suckers. Now, he hates the breed.

Then, there’s the mice. I did mention Phillip is a big guy…but he’ll jump five feet if confronted by a mouse. He claims it’s because they move so fast. I think he’s just a weenie. We had a mouse under some appliance years ago and he was going to get it. He’d just lifted the appliance and mouse jumped out. He squealed and jumped back. I was surprised he didn’t climb on a chair to get away from it. LOL

He’s also a little weird. He used to work with our uncle at his store years ago and it was in a bad neighborhood. Phillip was given the job of sweeping the parking lot and he was scared someone might mug him. So what does he do? Gets on his hands and knees and starts blowing the garbage across the lot. You heard me, he made himself a human leaf blower! He figured if people thought he was crazy, they’d leave him alone. Apparently it worked.

Yet, this is the same boy…sorry, man who demanded I write. Demanded it! He fussed me constantly when I told him I wanted to pursue a writing career. He’d ask me everyday if I wrote anything. He read part of my very first manuscript and encouraged me to continue. He has a great big heart, but he doesn’t always show it.

So that’s the man my sister-in-law is marrying. A guy everyone loves, who torments and teases until others are in tears (from anger), doesn’t like to do household chores, has a twisted sense of humor, and a heart he keeps protected until he gives it all away. She’s a very lucky woman who’ll need an iron will to deal with his antics.

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Countdown to a Wedding – The Brother

This weekend, my baby brother will be tying the knot. In honor of this, I’m going to give you all a blow-by-blow account of what we’ve done to prepare. Well, sort of. The bride’s family is taking care of everything really, so we haven’t done that much.

Over the weekend, my sister and I had our hair done (so it would look fresh for the wedding). Then it was a trip to the nail salon for pedicures and nails. Meanwhile, my dog was at the groomer. The four of us (my mom, sister, dog, and myself) are all groomed and ready for the wedding. Or are we?

Phillip, my brother, is the only boy and the baby of the family. I was six years old when he was born and I remember praying every day for a brother. I’d had enough of sisters – they weren’t any fun. I wanted a baby brother to love and cuddle. The day he was born, I remember going to the hospital with my stepdad and sister to see him. He was…enormous. Phillip was 11 lbs, 15 oz. and 23 inches long. He had thick, black hair and looked a little like E.T.

We joke now that he was born with teeth, but he was just so cute. He was allergic to milk, so he was on a soy milk formula for the first year of his life. This didn’t slow his growth at all. He grew by leaps and bounds, looking four years older than he actually was. The shine of having a new baby brother wore off quick. I had a social life…across the street at my friend’s house. But I couldn’t visit with her much since Phillip was attached to me.

It never got any better, so it shouldn’t have been any surprise that he became my best friend. We’ve played Voltron, G.I. Joe, Nintendo, He-Man and She-Ra together. We were inseparable. He wasn’t just my brother, or friend, I sometimes feel like he’s my own child.

Now, before I start getting off on a tangent, my point to this post is Phillip didn’t have just one mom. My sister is fourteen years older than him, so she was like a second mom to him. His godmother had two daughters born on either side of him and they all spent a lot of time together. She was his third mother. And then I became like his mom as well.

Our concern for the wedding? He’ll have four women blubbering over him. My mom says the only way she’ll be able to get through the ceremony is to recall that this union will give her more grandchildren. My sister doesn’t have a plan other than to try to stick it out. My aunt…well, I don’t know how she’ll manage. He’s the son she never had so I think she might get a little teary-eyed. As for me? I’m just praying I don’t start bawling on the altar. I mean, I’m supposed to be a groomswoman, I need to present a solemn and stoic air…I think. I’ll cry afterwards at the reception.

So I’m dedicating this post to my baby brother, Phillip Charles, who has tormented me, supported me, and taken my sisterly teasing for 27 years. I love you, Phee-Phee!

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