I Wish I Had Party Hats and Little Horns to Pass Out to Y’all

Once upon a time, on this day a whole lot of years ago, Hubs’ mama brought his baby brother home from the hospital.

He was not a magical baby. He was not destined to be a prince. The family named him Brother, and they loved him, regardless of the fact that he was just ornery.

I thought that I’d take a bit of a break tonight from telling you VIRAL! I SIMPLY HAVE A VIRUS, and we all know that viruses cannot be cured with antibiotics, so I have been sentenced to more days hitting the NyQuil sauce and coughing hard enough to deposit my lungs on the floor. Tonight, we won’t mention the fact that I sound like a seal at high tide. We shall, instead, grab hands and take a walk down memory lane, in celebration of the fact that it’s December 1st today.

And Brother has his birthday every single year on December 1st.

This is Brother in the summer of 2002, when he coached his boys’ and the boy’s T-ball team. For the record, the boy was two years old in 2002, and two year olds should never really play T-ball, because they are easily distracted. This is a snapshot of Coach Brother, trying to DISTRACT the boy from a cute little girl who also played on the team. I think Brother was saying, “Boy, keep your eye on the ball, and not on the ladies.”

From the get-go, Brother has always had a sense of fashion.

Often enough, Brother learned the hard way (much like Nellie Olson did) that YES! Yes, bonnets are fashionable, but sweet mercy! THEY ITCH!

Remember Hubs in the sweater vest that his grandmother crocheted for him one Christmas? Hubs’ look announces to the world that real men should never wear yellow sweater vests. Hubs wanted to yank his vest off and put on his Oscar the Grouch T-shirt.

Not Brother. Brother was plum pleased with HIS yellow, crocheted sweater vest, and he thought it looked especially terrific when he paired it with his plaid pants.

Brother has also known, since Day One, that THE SOFA! You should always spread out on the sofa and get comfortable, even if that means your brothers and sister have to squeeze in tight with what little room they have left. Although I lack photographic evidence, Brother still tends to sit this way today.

(And yes. Hubs does have his legs crossed in this snapshot, and he IS actually wearing black, knee high socks. Usually, his long pajamas covered them up, but this is the picture that gave him away. A public display of yellow sweater vests was something Hubs would not tolerate, but he did like the long black socks, which kept his little toes warm at night.)

And also? If you’re going to sit on your dad’s lap so that your grandmother can take a picture, just go ahead and spread yourself out, so that you’re comfortable. Never mind that polite Brother Joel will have to scootch in close. You go ahead and take all the room you need.

In this picture, Hubs is six. And a half. Brother is one. And a half. This was the month that Brother eclipsed Hubs in both size and weight.

When I first saw this snapshot, I had to giggle out loud. I wasn’t sure if it was a walker or a medieval torture device. I guess when you’re as old as Brother is, baby walkers were shaped a bit differently.

Throughout the years, Brother has always emphatically stated, “Once I saw how well I could fish in my underwear, I never went back to wearing jeans at the lake.”

Brother is also quite passionate about cooking in the kitchen, and he can produce some show-stopping entrees. Truly. Brother! Can! Cook! And well! His love of the kitchen started early. Thankfully, when he cooks these days, he doesn’t always wear his footie-pajamas.

These days, Brother is actually a good dad. His parenting skills were developed early. Why play with the excavator nearby, when you can swipe your sister’s baby doll and take her for a stroll? In the end, pushing a dolly around prepares you for real life, when you grow up to have four kids of your own.

And also? I would like to entitle this snapshot, “Skinny Dipping.”

No matter how many words I type, I could never sum it all up as well as this birthday cake did years (and years and years!) ago.


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