It wasn't like I was lonely. I was not an only child, I was the older one out of two. Luke was a respectable four years younger than me, he was someone that I could be friends with. He was someone I could have conversations with. It was Desiree and Luke for 16 years and it was a perfect balance. What would I do with a kid 20 years younger than me?
Well lo and behold, despite my extreme dismay, on July 10 in the year 2003, my little brother came into the world. He was red, bald and screaming like the hounds of hell were chasing him. The banshee was christened Harry William-Robert and life as I knew it was over.
Today marks 13 years since that fateful day when I no longer had just one sibling, and since today is his birthday, I thought that I would write this in solidarity to other older siblings who have parents tell them, "Hey guess what..." and that sentence ends with a baby 10 years or more younger than you. The number of times people thought it was my kid, well, if I had a nickel for every time... and because I am an older sibling and it is my sacred duty to embarrass the hell out of the younger sibling (and he embarrasses so easily).
As previously stated, his name is Harry, and today he turns the big 1-3. In some cultures he is already considered a man. He loves sneakers. Which would be great if they were Payless but alas, he is a sneaker connoisseur and only Adidas, Vans or Nike (especially Nike) will do. He loves sports and runs track and wrestles at his middle school. He likes to cook. He has a great mind and a beautiful, vivid imagination.
He's entering the teenage punk years and I'm pretty sure I will have to count to 10, nine times out of 10, just to keep from strangling him when he overwhelms me with "Teen Spirit," but he has a beautiful heart and is incredibly compassionate, caring and sensitive—with a flare for the dramatic. (Which he may or may not get from his big sister.)
This is my now teenaged brother, and as much as I am enjoying the fact that this article will embarrass him like no other, I do want to use this platform to talk about how amazing this 13-year-old is. Maybe I am biased, but... I don't think so.
He is a kid whose chief pleasure is just hanging out with the people he loves, especially family. Even now, that sense of family orientation hasn't left like it normally does during the teen years. He's polite with good manners and is overall respectful, but he isn't afraid to stand up for himself. He's a total dork, although he doesn't think so and would get super offended. It's one of my favorite things about him.
(The above picture makes me so proud)
He is so smart and independent and he has a level of maturity and guts at 13 that I just don't have. I don't have words to adequately describe how happy and proud this little boy makes me. Even though he's not a little boy anymore and that breaks my heart a little. He is a far cry from this:
and even this:
He no longer calls me DeeDee but instead calls me Des or Desiree or Meg if he's feeling particularly bratty. (Meg as in Meg Griffin from "Family Guy") He doesn't need me to hold his hand, but sometimes he lets me because he knows it means a lot to me. He's navigating the treacherous teenage angst waters and it drives me nuts, but he manages to strike a balance with being a genuine, good person.
Thirteen years ago, my life changed irrevocably with his arrival. Today marks an anniversary I will always be happy to celebrate. Do I miss my little giggling baby-faced brother? Yes. Always. He was perfect. And you know what? He still is and always will be. Whether he likes it or not Luke and I, we are his ride-or-die crew. We will never not have his back and we are so proud of this little man. I am so honored to call him brother.
So today I say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HARRY! YOUR BIG SISSY LOVES YOU SO MUCH!