Dude, I can’t believe you’re 11 today. ELEVEN! It isn’t possible. It was just yesterday that we piled in the van to go to church and made a detour to the hospital. I was the same age you are today.
You were a sneaky little fart, still are, and had made us think you were coming three times already. Three exciting trips to the hospital only to come home without you. The last time you made us miss the last thirty minutes of some Star Wars movie, whichever one was in theatres the Summer of ‘99, because we thought you were coming. You weren’t.
Going to the hospital that Wednesday night, I honestly didn’t think you were going to come. In my eleven year old mind, you hadn’t come the three times before, so why would you come out now? I mean, you were obviously comfortable in there, duh!
I remember when we found out Dee was pregnant with you. I was so excited! I had a little sister and all I wanted was a little brother! I just knew you were going to be a boy! We would have loved you just as much, boy or girl, but I think we all knew you were going to a boy. Heck, we didn’t even have any girl names picked out for you.
If Sissy had been a boy four years earlier she would have been Christian Alexander. Obviously she wasn’t a boy, but Dee and Daddie liked the name so it was now yours. We called you that even before we saw your little twig and berries in the ultrasound.
I was so excited to have a little brother! I ran to school telling everyone I saw that I was going to have a boy. I had already decided that you were going to be my baby. I loved taking care of Sissy when she was a baby, but this time it would be different. I would be older and could remember more. I could do more besides feed you and go fetch diapers. I could hold you, rock you, feed you bottles, change your stinky butt and even bathe you.
You were my real, live baby doll.
After a lot of talking and debating, and probably a lot of whining on my part, it was decided that Charlotte and I were going to be in the delivery room when you were born. Charlotte wasn’t excited, but I was. Some kids would be freaked out, but not me. I was thrilled that I was going to be one of the first people to see you. I’d get to hear you cry for the first time and see Daddie cut the cord. It was perfect.
Besides doctors and nurses, I was the third person to hold you. Your mom. Daddie. Me. I felt so special.
You stayed the normal amount of time in the hospital and then you finally got to come home. That was the part I couldn’t wait for. I literally ran out of the hospital doors to get in the back of the van so I could sit by you. I didn’t care that they lady behind the desk was yelling at me. I just knew the world was going to end if I didn’t get to sit by you on the way home.
I got to sit by you, the world didn’t end and all was well.
I know you don’t remember when Dee broke her leg, you were only a few months old, but I was secretly happy after we found out she was okay. See, Daddie traveled a lot for work back then and I knew that she wasn’t going to walk for a while which meant I could take care of you.
From the time I got off the bus in the afternoon, until the time I got back on in the morning, I was a Momma Hen. I did everything short of breast feed you. If I went outside to hang out with the neighborhood boys, you got put in your stroller and tagged along. I loved it.
You were a cool kid. You learned to crawl by us waving the cordless phone in front of you. You learned to walk on your own though. You learned to talk (even though now I sometimes wonder what the heck we were thinking). You knew us all apart and could point us out in pictures. Momma. Daddie. K-K, Cha-Cha, Ari-anna.
I even taught you your first knock-knock joke on the way home from vacation one year.
No cry K-K! No cry!
I could go on and on with stories about you. I was old enough to know what was happening while you grew up and I got to enjoy it. We were buddies back then, you and me. Still are.
Please stay silly.
I know we fight and argue. You yell at me that I’m not your mom and need to stop correcting you. I yell back that no, I’m not your mom, but I know what’s best so just do it. We argue over food because you think a bag of mashed potatoes for an afternoon snack is okay and I try to tell you it’s not.
You need a bag of chips or some popcorn, not a whole bag of instant potatoes. You don’t care though and do it anyway, just to spite me.
You eat chicken nuggets, fries, popcorn, red beans and rice, dirty rice, chips on cheese, meat nachos, meat only tacos and recently instant potatoes and Popeye’s shrimp. That and lots of junk food. You’ll east pasta, love biscuits and eat cheese, yet you won’t try pizza. You’re a weird little fart, but you fit right in.
You’re all boy, there’s not doubt about that. You’re a green belt in Tae-Kwon-Doe. You got moved up a year in baseball and even made All-Stars again. You love UFC and can name every wrestler and their specials, but can’t remember your spelling words for the life of you.
I look at you and am amazed at how good of a kid you are. With all the things you’ve been through the past eighteen months, it’s incredible. Sure you’re annoying at times. You tend to be over bearing when you want to do something and have become quite the little smartass, although you don’t quite know the right times to use it. I’ll teach you the correct times to use it, don’t worry. But just so you know, when Daddie’s vein is popping out the side of his head and he’s mad, it isn’t the best time, bud.
You know more about computers than I did at your age and have become quite the little texter. By the way, I’m sorry I put that lock code on my iPhone, but I really don’t need you sending my male friends texts that I’m in love with them. I have enough problems with boys as it is.
I love coming home when you know I’ve gone out. you tell me you’ll stay up to make sure I get in safe, but I know as soon as I unlock the door and stumble in, you’ll be fast asleep on the couch playing Step Brothers on a loop from the DVR for me. You know that’s the movie I play when I want to go to sleep.
You may be stubborn and hard headed, have an attitude and back talk, but you’re also a sweet, baby loving, puppy cuddling, tender hearted little boy. I wish you could stay little forever, thinking girls are gross and watching Disney Channel. I know soon enough though you’ll be watching MTV and not complain when I want to watch America’s Next Top Model because the models won’t be so icky anymore.
No matter how old you get or the choices that you make. I want you to know that I love you. I hope we only grow closer as the years pass and I hope you still make fun of the way I say things.
We were headed home in the car the other day and you had an idea*. By the time you graduate high school in 2017 (HOLY CRAP, BATMAN!), I’ll be 29 and have my college degree. You want to go to college at LSU, but don’t want to be so far away from the family. You’ll also need family cheering you on at all the home games when you play football. You know for a fact that I’ll be married and have two kids by then so your plan is for me, my husband and kids to buy a house and move to Baton Rouge with you. That way Daddie doesn’t have to pay for you to stay in the dorms and you can babysit your niece and nephew on the weekends while my husband and I go out. But only when it isn’t football season and only until you’re 21. Then we’ll have to take turns going out every other weekend.
I realize you’re only 11 and don’t really mean that, but I never felt more loved by you as I did then. You had made plans for your future and wanted my family and I to be a part of it. Not Momma or Daddie; not Charlotte or Adrianna. Me.
I hope that never changes. I love you, Bubs. After all you are my favorite little brother!
*If you ask me, it’s the best idea you’ve ever had. It may never happen, and if not. Oh well. We’ll have plenty of other memories to make. Don’t worry though. I’ll make sure that my husband knows about your plan and agrees to it before we even get married. If he says no, I’ll simply reply with your favorite song and phrase, “No Hablo Ingles.” I love you that much, kiddo.