Yesterday was DJ’s birthday. We put off celebrating until today because DJ had to work an evening shift yesterday and we wanted to be able to celebrate with everyone together. My mom made a birthday cake and one of his favorite meals—roast with potatoes cooked with it. My dad even came home from work a little bit early.
This is a fairly significant birthday for DJ. We live in a state where you aren’t legally an adult until your 19th birthday. Now, DJ has finally reached adult status. He can now buy “unrated” movies. It may seem like a silly thing to be excited about, but it’s actually quite frustrating. He couldn’t buy a children’s cartoon for Isaiah, simply because it was “unrated” and his driver’s license said he was a minor. I mean, it’s a kids’ show!
So let me tell you a little about my brother. I’ll be honest and tell you we’ve been known to bicker—well, outright fight, sometimes. That doesn’t mean we don’t love each other. DJ is always the first to come to my rescue if I need him and I will always do the same for him. It’s kind of nice to have a six foot something guy to back you up on something! It doesn’t hurt to have a sassy sister to come to the rescue, either, even if I’m not very physically intimidating. We’ve been friends, confidants and playmates our entire lives. As we’ve grown, our relationship has changed and grown, too, but it will never end.
It was almost twenty years ago when my parents told me that I was going to have a new sibling. They didn’t find out gender, so it was a surprise when he arrived. I remember vividly, though, telling them that I wanted a brother, so it had better be a boy in there! Finally, the day came when he was to be born. Of course, it was the middle of the night when my mom’s water broke and she went to the hospital. That seems to be pretty typical of babies, especially in our family! I spent the night at my baby sitter’s house, then went to stay with my grandparents the next day. I was one proud big sister! I didn’t want to let DJ out of my sight once I met him!
DJ was my whole world when he came home. I wanted to help with everything. Thankfully, my wise grandparents bought me a doll to take care of. If I couldn’t do something with DJ, I did it with my doll instead. As he got bigger, I played with him, encouraged him to learn to crawl and later, to walk.
As we got older, DJ and I would spend hours together playing. We’d disappear into our bedrooms or the basement and not reappear until we got hungry. Our imaginations ran wild, as we became vets, spies, animals or any number of other things. It’s a miracle we ever emerged from our adventures!
During our teen years, we went through phases when we mostly avoided each other. I found that I enjoyed the solitude of working on pictures or reading in my room. When I needed a friend, though, I knew exactly where to look! I knew that I’d have DJ, no matter what anyone else thought. When my friends abandoned me or I went through a rough break up, my brother still loved me. He put a voice to my frustrations, offering to punch people for me (though he never would), then finding a way to make me laugh.
When I found out I was pregnant, our relationship changed again. Now, he was the uncle to my soon-to-be-born baby. He loved buying things for the new baby. I wasn’t always very nice to him, thanks to the ups and downs of pregnancy hormones, but he stayed. When Isaiah finally arrived, DJ fell in love as quickly as I did. He’d spend hours just holding him.
I’m sure our relationship will continue to change and grow. That’s just fine with me. For now, I’ll cherish the relationship we have. I’m so thankful that 19 years (and one day) ago, my little brother was born!