I was born to two wonderful parents in 1990 and since I was the firstborn, I had them all to myself….at least for a little while. A full 13 months after I was born, my brother Jonathan made his entrance into our family. I, of course, was a great big sister and while I’m sure I missed getting ALL the attention, it was fun having another kid in the family to play with. We were two peas in a pod and we did everything together. We were the picture perfect American family and we were happy for sure…but something was missing. It was you.
You were born 4lbs 3oz in 2003, 12 years younger than me. You were so tiny and cute. The first time I held you if felt like a dream come true. It was hard to believe I had another little brother. Little did I know just how much you would change my life.
We all had our own unique bond with you and you were never wanting in the attention area. How could anyone resist such a cute baby like you anyway? Dad loved to tease you and make you laugh and mom of course took you hiking as soon as she could. Even Jonathan helped out and changed plenty of diapers when you were younger. Me, it didn’t matter what we did together. I just loved having the chance to spend time with you any way I could. You were our pride and joy. Your sweet smile and contagious laugh left us wondering how we ever lived without you in our lives.
At five years old it was time for you to go to school. I still remember your first day like it was yesterday. You were so excited and ready to go. I’m pretty sure we all cried as we walked away from your classroom that day. It was that year I fully came to understand what I wanted to do with my life.
You see, I had always been a tomboy. I caught with frogs and toads with Jonathan and played baseball in our cul-de-sac…and I was one feisty soccer player. So when it came time to teach you about some of the sweeter things in life, I had some pretty good experience.
I remember our whole family loved to take you sledding and we tried to teach you to do some pretty cool tricks. I helped you develop a love for cooking….or at least experimenting in the kitchen. You turned out to be the best kid in our family to take hiking too. Mom was pretty happy with that. I still remember teaching you how to roast the perfect marshmallow (even if you liked to burn them) and showing you what plants you can eat in the wild. We spent hours together trying to perfect your bowling game and had fun on the Frisbee golf course. But the one thing I know I taught you well…. was baseball. I always wanted you to play and enjoy the sport, but I never thought you would love it as much as me. My favorite times with you have been teaching you about the sport at Rockies games. That’s where most of our memories come from lately. Through teaching you about different things as you have grown up, I realized I have a passion for kids and for teaching. You are the one who inspired me to make the trip to Guatemala to work with a school down there. Without you in my life, I never would have realized how much I love kids. You also inspired me to help out kids who struggle more than the average middle class children do which is why I worked so hard at the daycare. So when it was time to graduate, I already knew what I was supposed to do. And you helped me realize my dream. But it wasn’t just teaching you about life that caused me to love teaching kids. It was your passion for life too. It was the goofy expressions you made and the fun times we spent together. It was the hugs you gave me when I came home and the look I got when you wanted something. Now here I am about to graduate and become a teacher. Our family has become who we are today greatly because of you. It’s been a mix of your encouragement and plenty of prayer and guidance from God that has led me to the idea of reaching the destitute children in this world. Because just like you, they have their own dreams and passion for life and I am ready to help guide them in their journey to finding them. All because of you.