…in one short year?
As I sit in my office and listen to their playful sounds through the paper-thin walls of our garage, I can’t help but have flashbacks to my own childhood and my brother.
I hear JJ chant, “Aaaaaaaaveri, where aaaaaaare you?” And then I hear Averi let out a blood-curdling scream that most likely penetrates the paper-thin walls of every house within a ten mile radius. It’s hard to tell if it’s a joyful or a painful sound. My parents know that scream well.
I hear my husband as he disciplines JJ for the millionth time not to push his sister and Averi for the millionth time not to slap her brother in the face.
Oh, how they LOVE to torment each other.
Both of them.
They always have.
I know it isn’t long before they will start to look and sound like me and my big brother.
On a long road trip, Averi will yell from the back seat, “Moooooooom! JJ took his shoes off again, and I’m about to pass out from the smell!”
Oh, how I remember those days.
(No kidding, what happens to little boys’ feet that they can put off that kind of offensive smell?)
JJ will probably sit Averi on a stool at the end of a ping pong table with a Ronald Reagan Halloween mask. And then he’ll assure her that if she sits veeeeeery still and keeps the flimsy, plastic mask in place, it won’t hurt when he uses her face for ping pong target practice.
And when crocodile tears stream down the ping-pong-ball-sized welts on her face, I’ll sweep her into my arms to hug her.
So she can’t see my laughter.
And then, somehow, Averi will believe him again when he tells her that a belly flop from a rope swing no less than 20 feet above the lake won’t hurt as long as she wears a life jacket.
And, through his hysterical laughter, he’ll manage to ask if she needs medical assistance when it takes her 45 minutes to catch her breath again.
Yes, I’m sure Averi will think of her big brother the same way I thought (and still do think) of mine:
with a deep, unwavering love and affection mixed with the strong desire to annoy the ever loving mess out of him.
It’s every little sister’s instinct.
She will most certainly be right behind him every step of the way.
And then laugh when he falls.
Or at least just stand there and pretend to not care.
But her love and affection for him will only be outdone by his fierce, protective love for her.
But neither one of them will admit it. And they certainly won’t produce this kind of affection on command.
It will usually surface in the quiet moments when they think no one can see.
They probably won’t even realize how much they love each other until some bully tries to hurt his sister or some stupid girl breaks her brother’s heart.
But I’ll catch glimpses (and sometimes photos) of this special kind of love between a big brother and his little sister. And I’ll smile as I think of my own brother and how I can feel such love and irritation toward the same person at the same time.
I’ll thank God for my babies. And for my precious brother. Who, despite the whole Ronald Reagan ping pong thing or the life jacket incident, has always been a special kind of friend to me.
(Brother, the above photo of you is payback for the ping pong thing. I’m still working on something for the life jacket incident.)
He was a friend when we were kids…
…and even more so now that we’re adults with kids of our own.
As we head into Easter weekend, I’ll leave you with two verses that came to mind as I thought about my brother. Proverbs 18:24 reminds us that no earthly relationship can compare to the love that Christ has for us. And John 15:13 describes just how Christ demonstrated that love.
What a friend and brother we have in Jesus!
It’s a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we’re on the way to there
Why not share
And the load
Doesn’t weigh me down at all
He ain’t heavy he’s my brother