A few years ago, we'll say 29, a baby boy was born to the Reg and LJ in Dog Town, Arkansas (North Little Rock). Because, three years later, I was born to these same parents that little boy is my brosef.
My brosef, despite our numerous differences, has always been my biggest fan. You would think that honor would go to the Reg and LJ, but they don't think I'm as funny as he does. In high school he never missed any event or game I was participating in. In junior high, the few times the parentals couldn't make a game he would come without them so I wouldn't have to ride the bus home. The kid even helped coach my softball teams when I was younger. He'd spend hours and hours with me in the driveway playing basketball. On nights that weren't school nights we'd play well past midnight.
He graciously taught me to drive, "brake in, gas out." He drove me to school and picked me up almost everyday after he turned 16. He would drive me to Wal-Mart and the grocery store and to the donut shop before church. He probably did those things because he was forced to, but sometimes he let me pick out the music, meaning I could choose from Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Sr. or Garth Brooks. If we were ever in the car and he knew I was sad he could immediately make me laugh by simply honking the horn or tilting the steering up to make it look like a bus steering wheel. We called it "bus driver mode" and it was the highlight of any drive together.
These stories make it seem like we had this picturesque relationship growing up and nothing could farther from the truth. He tortured me plain and simple. He was always stealing my teddy bear (creatively named, Teddy) and my blanket. He always fought me for the front seat and the remote. And when we got older and I started using hair styling tools that required to be plugged in to the wall if I ever forgot to unplug them he'd hide them and tell the Reg that I was going to burn the house down soon. I usually wouldn't notice they were hidden until I was about to leave the house and actually needed them.
When all of those things were happening I would have never imagined that my Brosef or even myself would ever grow-up or ever truly like each other. I couldn't have been more wrong. Today, not only do I like my brosef, I love him. In him, I see an extremely kind individual that can't tell a funny story to save his life. I see a kid who took a passion for sports and applied it to his job and now stands on the sidelines coaching. It scares the hell out of me that he also stands at the front of a classroom every day and teaches these same kids, but hey-- you can't win them all. I see a man who used to be a shy little boy who couldn't do anything without being prodded along now fully confident in talking to brick walls. I see a teenager and young adult who got the "friend card" pulled on him several times married to an incredibly smart, caring, fun girl that is so far out of his league he can't see her league!
Brosef, thanks for all the encouragement over the years even if I saw it as annoying. It's because of you that I write and that I tell stories. It's because of you that girls all over the state of Arkansas know how to "drag bunt." It's because of you that I remember to turn off my Chi every morning. And it's because of you that holidays are fun.
Thanks for being my brosef, even though you didn't have a choice. HAPPY BURRDAY.