Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dinosaurs, Fat Cheeks, and the Map of Italy

Today is my baby brother's birthday!  Except he is no longer a baby he is now 26 years old.  Which is crazy to me because I swear he is still my darling little brother and can't possibly be a young man!  My brother and I are five years apart so I have vivid memories of him as a baby.  I even remember the day my mom went to the hospital...

I was fast asleep in my giant water bed, which was a gift from my parents because I was no longer going to be the baby and I was going to have to share a room with said baby.  My parents entered my room, turned on the light and gently woke me up.  "Kendra... Kendra, you need to wake up..."  I can still remember looking up at my parents through groggy, tired eyes.  My Dad had his arm around my mom and she had a warm smile on her face and held her hands over her very pregnant belly.  "It's time," they whispered.

My brother was born and from that moment on I was so proud of him and loved him so much.  There are numerous pictures of me holding him and kissing him and attempting to carry him all over.  I was so proud of having a baby brother that I even took him to show-and-tell in Kindergarten!  My classmates were very impressed!

(photo credit)
 He was the most adorable, outgoing little boy.  He had a sweater that he would wear which had all sorts of different colors and patterns on it and he called it his, "rock and roll jacket."  He'd wear that "jacket" along with sunglasses and sing Rockin' Robin from start to finish into his playschool microphone.  He loved dinosaurs so much he became obsessed for a number of years.  His entire room was covered in dino's and he knew every obscure fact about the creatures.  He was 7 years old when Jurassic Park came out and you better believe we saw it opening weekend.  He was decked out in his favorite dinosaur shirt and literally sat on the edge of his seat throughout the entire movie.  That image is one of my very dearest of my baby brother...

Being an older sister was perfect because I was able to manipulate coax my brother into playing what ever I wanted.  If we played school, I always got to be the teacher.  I was constantly making up my own musicals and plays and he was always cast as some character, much to his chagrin.  My mom has even pointed out that I basically acted as his second mother because I would speak for him declaring things like, "Cody is hungry."  I simply loved and adored him.  

Of course we had our share of fights and mean spirited hitting or shoving matches.  We had invisible lines drawn that neither one was allowed to cross in the car.  We would threaten to "tell" on one another constantly and we had lovely nicknames for each other.  Cody's was, Fat Cheeks, because of the obvious.  Mine was, Fat Butt, because my brother knew I was self-conscious about my JLo booty at even a young age.  Then to make matters worse I crossed a major line and started to poke fun at his birth mark.  He was born with a red birth mark on the middle of his forehead that was ironically shaped like the map of Italy.  Yup, Italy's boot adorned my precious brothers head.  I reminded him of this every chance I got.  Turns out that some kids at school started to do the same thing and it literally crippled his confidence!  He begged and begged my parents to get it removed and they finally agreed.  To this day I have felt so terrible for making fun of something that was actually very unique and really wasn't that distinctive.  I feel terrible that I contributed to him being self-conscious about his appearance.  I've genuinely apologized to him on a number of occasions and it's all water under the bridge now.  

I may have been a mean sister at times but there have been times over the years that I think I've been pretty cool.  For example, my mom used to set an egg timer for us while cleaning our rooms.  If we didn't finish by the time it went off we would be in big trouble.  Mostly because she had told us numerous times to clean our rooms and we never did.  The egg timer was our last chance to avoid punishment.  I always finished my room with plenty of time to spare but my brother would easily get distracted and start playing instead of cleaning and before you knew it, the egg timer was getting down to the wire!  So when my mom would go upstairs I would gently turn back the time and help my brother finish.  {AWWWW, how sweet!}  Or how about when the Broncos won the Super Bowl in 1998 I picked my brother up early from school and took him to the big rally downtown to celebrate.  He thought I was the coolest person in the whole world that day.

There have been long conversations about life.  Questions answered about girls that he didn't want to ask mom.  Jokes, hugs, and some tears along the way.  He was even my "Man of Honor" at my wedding!  Today is my bratty little snot-nosed baby brother's birthday and I love and adore him today just as much as I did the day he was born.

You may be 26 now with a beard like Forest Gump's when he was running across America.  But you will forever and always be that little boy with big brown eyes, a birthmark and fat cheeks.  I love you and I'm so proud of you, Cody!  Happy Birthday!

Taken post Fat Cheeks and pre Forest Gump beard

Do you have a baby brother?  Do you still view them as that little boy?  Any fun sibling stories to share?

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