On Thursday, the 28th, the oldest of my two younger brothers turned seventeen. 17! That's right. My parents decided to bless me with not only one younger sibling, but three (my mother is truly a saint).
Contrary to what most older siblings would say, I am blessed to be the oldest of four kids. Now, if you would have asked me how I felt about my relationship with any of my younger siblings two years ago, I would have rolled my eyes and shrugged it off as no such relationship existed.
You never realize how much you genuinely miss when you move away from home. It's crazy to think that in a short year and a half one brother will graduate from high school and go on to college, and the other will begin his sophomore year of high school (to family and friends reading this and freaking out: Yes, Trey will be a sophomore).
Before you know it they're both driving your car, working at the same starter fast-food restaurant as you did, starting to date, going to prom, taking the ACT, and applying to colleges that are too far away for your liking.
To my not-so-little little brothers as you continue to grow up all too quickly, here are a few things I hope you keep in mind:
I love you.
If you don't take anything else from this article, know that I always love you both so much. No matter how big and tall you get, you will still be my "little" brothers.
Please try to learn from my mistakes.
Mistakes. We all know that between Olivia and me a lot of them have made. Trust me; there's nothing that you can get away with that I haven't tried and failed. I know the crazy rules seem overwhelming now, but you'll learn to appreciate them when you start to live independently.
I will always be around to let you kick my butt in Fortnite.
I may suck at video games of all sorts, but you better believe that I'll waste some money to buy my own Xbox to keep up with the two of you on Fortnite and Call of Duty in my free time, even if I continue to die in the first five minutes.
Girls are overrated.
Quick pro-tip with the ladies: don't get caught up in someone who doesn't treat you like you deserve. You both are smart, talented, loving, and caring, young men. The perfect girl will see that and cherish you for it.
Continue to work hard in everything you do.
You two are some of the hardest working individuals I know, don't let that work ethic go waste. You achieve your biggest and brightest dreams by working hard in everything you do. I wish I would have realized that earlier. Whether it be cross-country, robotics, ROTC, or band always give it 110% Trust me, your future self will thank you.
Popularity is overrated.
In a school as big as OTHS it can get overwhelming trying to keep up with what it means to be in the "in." Embrace your individuality. You both are special just the way you are. Don't lose the things that make you who are to impress people whose opinions don't matter.
Keep hugging mom for me.
As soon as you move out, you realize that a hug from mom, no matter how old you are, can fix all your problems. I know right now she can get a little nitpicky and be annoying, but as soon as you move out and start living on your own, you'll come to realize that she was right about a lot of things.
Trust me; it took a lot of self-reflection for me to be able to admit that. So, hug her right now and make sure to do it again before bed too! Sooner or later you'll have to wait upwards of three months for another one of those hugs.
Even though dad’s lectures are annoying, listen to what he’s saying. They’ll help you in the long run.
We all joke about the times where the four of us have each been sat down for a "Dad Lecture." As funny as it might be to joke about, and as hard as it is for me to continue to admit, our parents know what they're talking about when they sit us down for these talks.
Shocker, right? Take his advice to heart and try to understand where he is coming from a parental perspective. It will get better I promise.
No matter where we are I am always here for you.
300 miles away from you two or two doors down the hall, I am still here for the both of you. No matter where we are, no matter what you're struggling with, you can always come to me.
I guarantee you there is nothing you might be struggling with that I haven't experienced before. In everything you do in life, I will always be a phone call away, supporting you in everything you do.
Remember, my dear Landon and sweet Trey, no matter how big and tall you get, I love you forever and a day. Never forget that.