Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I love you, Bro

Curtis is celebrating a birthday today.

Several evenings ago, Curtis, Justin, and I were out for a walk on our quiet little road. The three of us never have trouble finding things to talk about, and that night was no exception. Talking, laughing, and walking, we made our way down the road. Somewhere along the line, when we were feeling a sprightly, we tried what we call "walking in each other's footsteps."

It's actually a little tricky to accomplish. Have you ever tried walking behind someone, keeping your feet just behind theirs? The idea is to put your feet exactly where they put theirs, and the exact instant they lift their feet. If you are just slightly off rhythm, you cause both yourself and the person you are following to stumble.

Doing this with only two people is tricky enough, but three - or even more - people is harder. However, it adds a bit of interest to a walk, and causes a lot of laughter. Curtis led the way, I came behind him, and Justin foot-stepped me.

"It's hard to walk in somebody's footsteps." Justin laughed. "If you mess up, Amber, you're gonna make me mess up too."

How like real life that is. I have people following in my footsteps, and messing up has far-reaching effects.

One person in particular is following very close behind me; my brother Curtis. He is only 17 months younger than me, and I joke about him always breathing down my neck in age. I hardly had time to get used to not being an 13, when Curtis turned 13. And just when I pulled ahead to 15, there he was turning 14. When we were little, he used insist that one day he'd be older than me, but eventually logic developed, and he figured out the sad news. [grin.]

And he is doing it again today; moving up on me, that is. He's turning another year older.

I like to write a post about my siblings on their birthdays. It just seems fitting to say why I love them so much.

I can't remember life without this brother of mine - and obviously he's always known me, too. I'm not sure if it's the fact that we grew up almost constantly together, or just something special God's blessed us with, but we seem to think on the same wavelength.

Sometimes it's uncanny. Curtis is the only person I know who has had the same dreams I have. I remember beginning to tell a dream at the breakfast table once...

"...It was dark and rainy, and Heather decided to take us for a drive," I began.

"It was in a station wagon, wasn't it?" Curtis asked.

"Yes, but - "

"And Mom and Dad were away at a friend's house."

"How did you know?" I asked.

"I've had the exact same dream!"

Like I said, we think along the same wavelength. If I am feeling sad or worried, and trying to hide it, Curtis - out of everyone I know - is the most likely to see through my outer smile. Not only that, but if I'm alone in one part of the house, feeling troubled, he will often come looking for me, as if he could sense that I need someone to tell my troubles to.

And I can tell when he is troubled, too. Curtis is good at hiding his feelings when he wants to. I don't always know what he's thinking, but I know whether it's bad or good. Not because of a face expression, but by something that I can't see - a feeling that hovers in the air.

When Curt and I were little, we spent a lot of time imaging things together. Of course, I played a lot with my older sister Heather, too. With her I played with dolls, and we pretended life-like things; we were mothers, wives, famous singers, missionaries, or fancy ladies at a tea party.

With Curtis, I played less realistic things; pretending our toy animals could talk, making boats out of old wood and pretending to escape from angry sailors, pretending to be dogs or deer, sneaking around in dark bedrooms, pretending to be deep underground... I think I got the best of both worlds; imaginative and realistic. I loved it.

Now that we're older, we no longer play together with toys. In fact, sometimes we mourn to each other that our interests have diverged so much. He doesn't come sew with me, and I don't lift weights with him. He is still in school, and I have free time to devote to things other than school. He is beginning to think of how he will someday provide for a family, while I think more about how I will cook for them. :)

But we still have much in common. We love music. We love good books. We love to dream about our futures. We like animals. We like brave, dashing deeds. We love the Bible.

In fact, a couple of my siblings are so much like me that sometimes I think live through them. I have their adventures as well as my own, and joy when they joy. I cry when they cry. I hurt when they hurt. I grow when they grow.

Curtis is one of those.

But he's no longer a little boy. I am learning to relate to him in a more grown up way, but a way just as dear. We're in a strange sort of stage where we're no longer children, yet we don't feel like adults. And we're going through that stage together.

It's been a great adventure. I look forward to what will happen next.

Happy Birthday, Curt. I love you more than you'll ever know.


( : Anna : ) said...

Aren't Brothers just wonderful--and so much FUN??!! I am SOO thankful God has blessed me with....*9*! What JOY we have together! :) Brothers are the BEST! (sisters are too...especially when *3* of the most amazing live with you! :) )

Blessings to your brother today, oh wait-I think I'm late...yesterday or when it was. :)

Amber said...

Wow, Anna - 9 brothers and 3 sisters! How blessed you are! Where do you fall in birth order?

Leah said...

Happy Birthday (though belated) to your brother!
It is wonderful how close you are to each other. That thing about dreaming the same dream left me amazed!

Amanda said...

What a special way to celebrate his birthday! That was a wonderful post! I've often wished that I had an older brother, but I know God made our family just the way that He wants it. I'm very thankful for my younger brother, though! He adds such spice to life with his energy, enthusiasm, imagination,... and love for things that we girls never even thought twice about (i.e. tractors, cars, machinery, etc.)! :):)