My Baby Brother
The autumn air was as crisp as the fresh-out-of-the-dryer flannel sheets that my mother would always put on our beds when the weather got chilly. The familiar sounds of a referees whistle and cheering fans brought back memories of going to high school football games. My stomach started talking when I smelled the scent of the hot dogs cooking near by. “Can you believe we are doing this?” my mother asked as her face reddened while the sun decreased and the wind picked up. “No, I can’t” my father and I both said simultaneously. It seemed hardly impossible to fathom that we were sitting at my baby brother’s high school football game. Where had the past fourteen years gone?
I was in the family room of my house with my older brother, Brian. We nicely were playing together with blocks. I was five at the time. “Brian, Julie, come into the living room, we want to talk to you!” my dad said with excitement in his voice. It was then that I found out I was going to have a new brother or sister. My entire body lifted above the clouds and soared. I just loved babies. In the next couple of months, my life changed dramatically. We had to move out of our house and into a new neighborhood. This event was very specific in my life. Although I was so excited for a new sibling, I was extremely distraught about leaving my familiar home. It was almost as if I was a taut rope in a tug-of-war being pulled in both directions. “But Mom, the baby can sleep with me.” I remember saying to my mother. Now that I look back on the situation, I realize that it was the “comfort and familiarity” of my house that made me upset about leaving.
The crocuses were in full bloom and the weather only called for a light jacket as I got off the bus and headed into my Kindergarten classroom one beautiful April morning. I was in the auditorium watching a play, when my Kindergarten led me out into the hallway. When I got out there, my dad was waiting for me. His face was glowing and his smile was a mile long. He told me that I had a new brother, Kevin. I can remember him bending down to tell me this news. He told me that Kevin couldn’t wait to meet me, and that he knew that I was going to be the best big sister in the world. I have never been so profusely happy in my life. I was overcome with joy that I had another brother but I was even more excited that my mother would be home in just a few days.
The once unfamiliar new house now seemed comfortable, safe and well known. Family, friends and neighbors were constantly stopping by the house in the following weeks to meet Kevin and to bring my family dinners. I thought it was one big party. I felt as if I were no longer a baby bear, but a mature cub. After all, I was the big sister. I loved holding my little brother and taking in the sweet smell of Johnson’s baby powder that was now a familiar “Kevin” scent. He was like a new puppy dog―warm, friendly and cozy. I was always thankful that I was five when he was born, because I was old enough to appreciate him and to understand what he was and what he meant to me. He means the world to me, and always will.
Watching Kevin grow up has had a hugely important affect in my entire life. I absolutely wouldn’t be the same person that I am today without him. I learned responsibility early on due to him. I knew how important it was to be quiet when he was sleeping, and to shut the playroom door every time I went down there so that he wouldn’t fall down the stairs. I learned the importance of my family and the values I held towards them. Much of those values will be continued traditions in my own home some day.
Years after Kevin was born, I found out that my mom actually had undergone a severe miscarriage in between the births of Kevin and I. This information made me appreciate my little brother even more. I can’t imagine my life without him. I think of him as a great gift from God. I know the miscarriage was devastating to my parents, but we were honestly blessed by it. Kevin is truly one of the best people I know and has made me a better person. Words cannot describe how fortunate I feel to have him in my life.
Back in our home that we’ve lived in now for fourteen years, my mother is heating up homemade soup while the house warms up as everyone piles in from their daily activities. “What a great game!” my dad says sounding proud and confident. Kevin strolls into the kitchen after taking a warm shower and cleaning up after his tiring and cold football game. Now taller than I am, he looks at me and gives me a hug and even a kiss on the cheek. For a moment, I almost smell the Johnson’s baby powder all over him, but realize it’s a figment of my imagination. “Thanks for coming to my game Jules” he says as his face lifts with love. I give him a hug in return and realize that not only am I hugging my brother, but my one of my very best friends. I will always think of him as my baby brother, even though he really is turning into quite an amazing young man.