Thursday, October 2, 2008


Today is the birthday of my youngest brother.


I don't know whether to celebrate or cry. He's so old now! I can remember very vividly the day he was born. I was seven years old.

We knew the day he would arrive, because Mom was induced. The three of us children who were already in the world stayed with friends all morning, and Dad came to pick us up in the early afternoon. His first words to me were, " he's got brown hair, and lots of it!" Dad knew that would please me, because up until that point I was the only child in the family with dark hair.

Curtis was pleased, because he had been praying for a brother.

Heather, the oldest, was pleased because it was a baby, and what oldest girl doesn't adore babies?

It seemed hours until Dad finally took the three of us to the hospital to see our new brother.


I remember the conversations over dinners as Dad and Mom had tried all through the pregnancy to select a name for the baby. "Justin" had finally won - IF the baby was a boy.

During that time, I was still getting used to the idea of having another sibling. Us three older ones were very close in age, and there hadn't been a baby in the house for several years - not recently enough for me to remember. I hadn't the slightest idea what it would be like...but I was very willing to find out.

When I saw Justin for the first time - with his amazing amount of dark hair sticking up all over the place, and his tiny hands curled into tight fists, and his eyes shut tight though we begged him to open them - I knew at once that I would like being an older sister to a baby.

But he didn't stay a baby for long. Dad always says - and it's true - that Justin never learned to creep or walk. He went from nothing to crawling on all fours, and then from that to running.

He hasn't stood still since.

Justin was the toughest little toddler in the history of our family. I'm firmly convinced that he has the hardest skull out of us all. If he hadn't, it would be busted by now. He also has a knack for learning advanced things without bothering about the primary long as the "things" involved are athletic.

Take biking, for instance. I don't remember Justin using training wheels. He might have - in fact, I think he must have, but it certainly wasn't long enough for the fact to stick in my memory.

And climbing. Trees, walls, bunked beds... everything and anything was game for a good scaling.

All this was done in bare feet, of course. I have vivid memories of sitting next to Justin during Bible Times at night, when the long busy days were over, and looking down past my Bible to a pair of very brown feet next to mine. He had such adorable dirty feet. But don't tell him I said that.

All this energy didn't stop Justin from being sweet. He was a very cuddly baby, and as he grew older he retained his I-like-you-don't-you-like-me?-let's-go-play attitude.

Fast forward quite a few years.

Now Justin is battling with me in height. I can look him right in those green eyes of his. People say we look very much alike, with the exception of him being a boy, and I being a girl, of course.

He still has plenty of energy. I think he can burn more calories writing out spelling words than I can running a half mile. And he still has that lovely way of surprising me every so often with a sweet remark, or an offer to lend a hand where he isn't required to help. I often wonder what's going on inside that head of his, because despite his happy-go-lucky, bouncing-off-the-walls way of life, I know from experience that he is a deep thinker, and has a world of thoughts and plans going on inside.

Nobody can make your heart sing like brothers can. I have two, and they have tremendous power to make me proud. Of course, they can also tear my heart in two, but when I see them growing in the Lord, I think my heart won't fit inside my chest anymore.

To see brothers growing loving and gentle, to see them becoming courageous and industrious, to see them becoming men - this is the delight of a sister. This is what makes her want to stand behind them and urge them onward. This is what drives her to her knees, calling on the Lord to bless them and use them.

I love you, Justin.

Happy Birthday!


Alethea Jordan said...

This is an amazing post. I like what you've said. I wish I could get along with my brother so easily.

Amber said...

Thanks, Alethea Jordan. Don't think that I'm Super-Sister, though.

I decided long ago that I would CHOOSE to love my siblings and form a close relationship with them. I've worked at it for quite a long time. God has blessed that. I DO get along well with my brothers, but not always. And not always easily.

But most of the time I do.

Of course, I think God has blessed me with some brothers that are remarkably nice to get along with. That could be bias, I guess. :)

Ashley said...

That is a lovely post. Happy Birthday to your brother! I have four brothers, and hopefully the Lord will bless me with more. The twins were born when I was seven. That age gap is something special. And now they have a little brother who is seven years younger then them!