I’m one of those lucky people who have a sibling that they, not only can stand, but actually love. I am stupidly proud of my kid brother. And when I say kid brother, I turn the big 4 0 this month and he’s just two years younger than me. Yeah, so he’s not much of a kid anymore… even though he retains his youth by NOT growing up and getting all stuffy like; refusing to stop running in the parking lot, spontaneously has out-of-control ice cream runs (not his fault, the CAR WANTED to go there) and always staying up past bedtime when he’s home so we can chat long after the parental unit has retired to their room.
I started out life way bigger than this kid. He was a pudgy, cute, fire engine red head who had a personality unmatched by anyone I have ever met since that fateful day 38 years ago, today. I took it upon myself to mother him when my mother wasn’t around. Lord knows he needed two mothers. No, seriously, he was always into some kinda trouble. He was intensely curious and very spontaneous.
This kid had a brain that worked ten times faster than it was supposed to. He was doing MY math problems in his head before he even went to school. Needless to say I was a tad miffed at him in first grade. I was having trouble learning to add and subtract and he was saying the answers to flash cards before I could even read what was on the blasted card.
Let’s politely say I was not always in love with his brain. It really worked overtime and by the time he was in Jr High and High School he was creating his own engineering inventions that seemed annoying to me. He would take things apart just to figure out how they worked. Once he understood, he didn’t always feel the same excitement for putting them back together. Oh he COULD, but it wasn’t always as fun to do that. Sometimes he’d “borrow” something of mine to “learn” on and then “forget” to put it back together. Once I had this fan, which mysteriously stopped working one day. I shook it and it rattled in the base. He had figured out how it worked on MY fan and left his put together. We’ve never let him forget these (what seems funny now) moments because now? Well now this kid is a bit of an amazing wizard when it comes to electronic engineering.
My brother lives WAY the heck too far away, in Texas, where he runs a company called Sparx Engineering. I don’t get to see him as often as I’d like, (as in Sunday dinner every week) but I’m already counting down days till I see him in August before his kids go back to school. While I am not happy about the distance, I can’t complain about what he does there and how he got down there. Having settled in Texas after an internship that turned job with NASA after college, he found his niche and expanded into the company he owns today. They do amazing things. He is quite literally changing the world there. I don’t say that bragging, (okay so maybe a little bit) but truly I am in awe that this little brother of mine grew up taking stuff apart I was furious about, and into an awe inspiring man who has the ability to think through projects that, for me, don’t even register on my brain’s comprehension charts. He staffs a company with amazing brains like his own and together they are honestly doing things that make a massive difference, everyday, to many. One project he is working on right now is for a group mwater.co in Nigeria. They are working on a device being used in a research effort for water that will contribute to efforts to empower communities to obtain clean water to drink. That is something I don’t even have to think about as I open up the tap and get a drink. The women there walk miles and miles a day for water and must carry it all.
They’ve worked on medical devices for the Army and changed how they can monitor wounded in battle, they’ve worked on things for space missions and so yeah, this kid is truly out-of-this-world.
So as I sit way too far away to celebrate properly on my brother’s birthday, and I was NOT a good sister (but treated him equally with my sister-in-law in forgetting to send a card) I thought I should embarrassing him a tad and brag on him a lot. It’s my right, my birth right in fact. I am the big sis. He may have gotten taller, stronger, and MAYBE even better looking, but he will never be able to do my job in being the sister who is soooooo gushingly proud of her kid brother that she goes out and shouts it to the world.
LOVE you BRO! You’ve turned out to be amazing, and I want everyone to know it!