Baby, Baby...

...brother, that is. I only have one sibling, and this is him. Adorable beyond belief, no?

I really do consider him my baby. Because he is almost 10 years younger than me, and because I've fed, changed, bathed, burped, slapped errr...disciplined, and pretty much did everything else for him except to breastfeed him, which my mom didn't do for neither one of us anyway. Hmm...maybe that's the reason for our defiant and sarcastic streaks, because we weren't offered the boob! But I digress.

Due to an unfotunate course of event called the Vietnam War, my parents were separated for 6 years. When they reunited, I got the sibling that I've always asked for. And he's all I've got. We were inseparable, mainly because my dad had the 5 feet rule: at no given time was I to be apart from him for more than 5 feet. A teenage girl with a rambunctious toddler stuck to her side, at all times, fun times. But the time did come when we have to be apart. I did "leave" him for 2 years, during my "dark years". I rebelled against my dad and left home (yes, 19 years old, unmarried and checked myself into the college dorm was considered running away in my parents' world, cops were summoned to my boyfriend's house and everything. Of course, the cops tried to stifle their snickers when they found out how old I was at the time.) But I digressed once again.

I wouldn't trade those awful years for the world, for I grew up to be myself and my parents grew to value me as myself as a result of those torturous years. Except for the part where my baby bro was abruptly left to be by himself. I cried in my dorm room almost every night for the first week that I was there because I missed his chubby cheeks singing along with me to the tunes of Amy Grant and Wilson Phillips. But I kept on reminding myself that he's 10 now, he doesn't need me any more, I need me! When I moved back home years later, after our own little Vietnam War in the family has subsided (but this time the Commies lost), I interviewed him for a school project.

Me: Tell me a sad time in your life.
Bro: I don't have many, but....I guess the time when you left home....yeah...that was sad...
We both looked away.
Me: [choking] Please elaborate.
Bro: Well, you were always there...and then, you were not. I was never without you.

My heart jumped to my throat. Just like it did when my family was in the process of relocating, and I couldn't find him during one of his numerous impromptu hide-and-seek games when he first began to walk/run, because he climbed into the mounds of moving boxes and stayed there. Or when he fell into the deep end of the pool at 7 and neither of us knew how to swim yet. Or when I was the first person to witness his one and only seizure when he was 12, a congenital disorder which affected nothing if he takes medication twice a day until he was 18.

He's 5'11 now, I'm 5'1 for awhile now. He looks like my dad, I look like my mom. I sound like a mouse, he sounds like a frog. Can you imagine if it was reversed? This is us at the family portrait session that my friend photographed, when we attempted to express sibling rivalry. As you can see, I failed.

He is my pride and joy. He lives in a corner of the living room in our tiny 1 br apartment, only for one more month, because he doesn't want his sister to continue paying for his dorm fees or his rent when she now lives 10 minutes away from his school with her husband. He enjoys his brother-in-law's cooking (because his sister doesn't cook much), and his BIL dies a little inside whenever he eats out. Here he is as the Best Man for his BIL at his sister's wedding, giving his toast and performing a cultural dance as part of his gift.
In one more month, I will be there when he graduates from my alma mater, receiving his Bachelor's degrees in both Chemistry and Math, with Phi Lambda Upsilon Chemistry Honor Society, Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude honors. And once again, my heart will probably jump to my throat. But I will swallow it, and scream at the top of my lungs in my mousy voice, "That's my baby brother!!!" He's used to it.

8 comments:

dapotato said...

aww...so glad you two are so close. too sweet. my baby brother is graduating this weekend, and i am so proud, too. :)

Cat said...

OMG, the tears. I know how strong a sibling bond can be. Congrats, BrotherKP!

A Feminist Gold Digger said...

That is so precious. You look stunning in those pics with him too.

WeezerMonkey said...

Aww, I got teary-eyed! I love my little brother to pieces, too. :)

Claire said...

Wow, I never knew I could get so teary this early in the morning... This sounds really cheesy, but I really am enjoying learning more about you through your blog... :) Write more!

Kimberly said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one tearing up at this!

R said...

That was incredibly sweet! Makes me rethink the one kid thing a little more. My sister and I aren't close like that so I'll just have to be jealous of you all with strong sibling bonds. ;) You two sound lucky to have each other. :)

Aline said...

I have 3 brothers.. one is full my fraternal brother who I am NOT close with another one is my step brother who I try to be close with and I also have a half brother I have never met.

I feel like despite the fact that I have 3 brothers I don't really.

So I am envious of you and the closeness that you feel for little bro.

You are so blessed KP.