And then my Facebook flooded with the daily news: National Sibling Day. And so it hit me: I could write about both: a foundation, bonding, acts of loving-kindness all wrapped into one. This post is inspired by and dedicated to the class act that came 4 years (minus 2 weeks) before me and helped pave the way: my big brother, ABW or Adam W.
Always supportive of his little sister--GO DUCKS! (Photo Cred: ME!)
I have grown up with the unique ability to irritate my older brother. With the exception of my mom, he's tied for knowing me the longest with the Dad. He knows what annoys me, what nicknames I hate and love (and created my first AOL screenname with his own nickname ShortyAKW1), and how hard to flick before I cry out for help (P.S. not too hard, because I usually sell him out quickly). In turn, I hear stories [may be able to corroborate the truth in them] about how I pretended not to hear him, how I pushed back, and any numerous things that I've done to annoy, irritate, or otherwise bother my big brother. In return I got love, WWE moves practiced on me, and a silent mutual agreement over who was crazy or not in our house.
BUT, before I was even born, Adam was pretty sure about my foundation. According to our mother, he'd walk around and tell everyone that would listen (while pointing at my mother's stomach) "That's my sister!". When they challenged him that he might be wrong, he adamantly disagreed. "That's MY SISTER!" He was right. He's right a lot. Any time that I would be anxious, scared, unsure...Adam was pretty sure, self-aware and confident in my ability to find my own direction, to do better, to push myself. Whether standing up for me on a bus, standing up for me to mom and dad, or standing up for me whether I was right or wrong, Adam was always there--and a pretty great guy to have around most of the time.
While we don't get to see each other often, Adam's still one of the first people I call when things are terrifying me: job rejections, test results (I failed my first driving test, he was very supportive--though mentioned to tell me that he passed his on the first time!), or finding out that my pneumonia had relapsed. My first reaction was always to panic first and then reason it out in my head. His first reaction was always to take a deep breath, bear down, laugh about it, and then get it taken care of. He's incredibly kind and supportive of me, while ensuring I know that I can do more than I even think that I'm capable of.
At his wedding (shout out to Gabby!) I was entrusted to give a speech in front of a room full of people at their rehearsal dinner--not always my favorite thing to do. Everyone kept asking me what I was going to talk about--and I wasn't really sure, not until I got up there (sorry guys!) of what I was going to say. I decided to go with the truth--starting off with my favorite truth of Two Truths and a Lie--that people ask me continuously if we're identical twins (which is problematic as he's four years older...and a boy). After a few minutes of laughter, jokes, and honest reflection about Adam and Gabby, I sat down--not caring so much about the speech, but happy that I had made my brother proud.
People bond in strange ways: siblings bond through strange happenings. Regardless, pretty happy to have you as a big bro ABW, and thought you ought to know it. After all I've been looking up to you since Day 1 (you've always been taller than I am)!!!