What you don’t know about this picture (of my brother and my kiddos) is that I had to say, “diarrhea”, “rotten egg salad” and “hernia” to get this cheesy smile out of my bro, Brian. 🙂
Today is World Down Syndrome Day and it is my favorite social media day! Jenny Rapson (editor of For Every Mom) fills the For Every Mom Facebook Page with the most adorable kids on the planet. Head on over and be on the lookout for Brian.
Brian recently spent nineteen days with us while my parents were out of the country meeting their newest granddaughter. I thought it was fitting to share with you…
21 Reasons that My Brother is Awesome:
- Although he isn’t a man of many words these days, he wrote “den” on his Magna Doodle when he was at our house. When I asked him what it meant, he said, “dentist”. I laughed! Sure enough, I had forgotten to make dentist appointments for the kids. I had asked one of my sons to remind me so I wouldn’t forget. Well, Bri didn’t forget- so grateful.
- When my toddler or baby is upset, Uncle Bri reaches over and tenderly holds their foot…offering his own expression of comfort.
- When asked if he wants seconds on food, my brother says, “Yes please”. Music to my ears as our barbarians usually help themselves as they reach across the table (and knock over their cups in the process).
- My brother wore comfy pants around the house some days, but he changed into jeans when it was time to leave. I wish other 30 somethings would take his lead on this (flannel PJ pants and man buns at the grocery store, anyone?!). Good training Mom!
- My brother’s loyalties to sport teams, vacation destinations, and people are represented by his vast t-shirt collection. For example, if Norte Dame is playing, but it’s my sister’s birthday (from Chicago), and he’s also going to be at home…he will wear a Fighting Irish shirt, a Windy City shirt and his alma mater’s shirt (all layered on top of each other). So no one is left out.
- Brian orders by number at fast food restaurants. We ate a lot of meals at home when he was there. One night he said, “FF” (his abbreviation for fast food). I told him we weren’t going to go out to eat. He was quite annoyed and said, “Fiiiiine” (as any angry teen would). It might seem like a small thing, but having typical sister-brother banter is a part of any healthy sibling relationship, right?
- We come from a thriving musical-lovin’ family, so when I busted out with some South Pacific songs at dinner one night, my bro came alive. Brian was in high school choir. At a concert, my two sisters sang the song, “Honey Bun” and partway through it, they arranged for Bri to come on stage, dressed as a woman with a blond curly wig, grass skirt, and coconuts. It’s one of my favorite memories. When I started singing the lyrics, Bri got up and shook his hips just like he did at the concert.
- My brother has a knack for being able to sum up a pastor’s sermon in just one short verse. He knows the Bible and hymnals like the back of his hand. He thumbs through and points to just the right verse—it’s amazing.
- Brian gets upset by fighting. You can imagine how many opportunities he had to witness sibling squabbles while he was here. He’s a peacemaker. When my sisters and I were younger, he tried to referee our fights. Now he sits back and takes it all in with a furrowed brow. I imagine he’s saying, “Get a grip kids!”
- My brother tagged along with us to our Homeschool co-op, he sunk hoop after hoop on the basketball court. My kids were thoroughly impressed.
- My brother is also a great swimmer. Sometimes he gives us a scare with how long he stays under as he tries to do handstands.
- Brian has an adult trike and goes on long bike rides with my parents. He even has a basket on it. Brian being able to go on family bike rides was a game changer for my family. Rebekah Lyons and Jamie Ivey talk about these super cool bikes on “The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey” podcast. Check it out, Show #129!
- Throughout the years, Brian has kept us laughing. He puts (clean) underwear on his head (while he’s fully clothed) as a comedic shtick of sorts.
- When he stays at our house he grows out his goatee. It’s a man’s prerogative, right?
- Brian gives his nieces and nephews noogies. They have a love/hate relationship with it. It’s quite the uncle thing to do.
- When I was working up in my loft office, I peered down and saw my four year old and my thirty-seven year old brother chilling on the couch, playing with the Magna Doodle and watching Garfield cartoons together—warmed my heart.
- The four year old says his favorite thing to do with his Uncle B is to play hide n’ seek with him.
- Our eight year old drew this likeness of his uncle (goatee and all).
- The tween and ten year old say their favorite things about Bri is his sense of humor and that he is hilarious and fun.
- Before Adam and I got married, Adam told Bri (at the bachelor party) he was going to squeeze my buns. My brother said, “Then your name is Mud.” Well played Bro, well played.
- I struggle with striving and proving myself in an effort to be loved. My brother is a tangible reminder that God loves me because He created me. His love is not dependent on how much I accomplish but that my value comes from the One who says I am fearfully and wonderfully made, in His image. My brother’s love mimics that of God’s. He loves me because we’re family—even when I’m bossy, even when I fail, he keeps on loving me.
I realize this list might not be the most interesting thing you’ve read today, but it’s a compilation of ordinary things that make my brother pretty extraordinary. And today, on World Down Syndrome Day, I think it’s an important thing to realize, that he lives both an ordinary and extraordinary life.
I cannot imagine life without him. He has enriched our life in priceless ways.
I hope this post has given you a glimpse into the wonderful ways that Brian lights up our world. No, it’s not all cheesy grins and hip shakes, but it’s a complete honor to know and love my bro.
If you haven’t yet, go read this heart-breaking post by Jenny Rapson on babies with Down Syndrome being terminated in Iceland. It’s not just an issue in Iceland though. Please do not abort a baby with Down Syndrome. I know many couples who would adopt them.
You can get to know my brother better through this series, 31 Days with My Brother. Grab a tissue and walk with us from birth to adulthood as we brag on this real swell guy.
You might also like:
P.S. Head over to the #RaRaLinkup for more encouragement.