On the nineteenth my phenomenal brother (we'll refer to him as "Fetche-Boy") turned sixteen.
In the Jewish culture, it's traditional for a boy to have his Bar Mitzvah, or "coming of age," at thirteen. However, I've asked my dad that we have some form of Bar Mitzvah for my brother this year.
Why? Well, this year, my brother has really come into "his own."
God created, deep down, underneath the tenderness and compassion and deep love for life, a mighty warrior, a lion of a man, a rock and a faithful friend.
Before October (or more specifically, before the house-fire and my aunt passed away) Fetche Boy was just that, a boy. A young person becoming a young man. I can't say "he was a child," in good conscious, because he's always carried a lot of weight on his young, yet strong and broad, shoulders. But he dreamed child-like dreams (with potential, please don't get me wrong), and lacked the solid stability that a god-fearing young man provides for others. He was not yet the buffer between the ladies in his life and the world.
Since the fire, however, much has been required of him, and he has fulfilled, above and beyond, what the world ever expects of their boys.
My brother surprises even me!
Two days ago, my dad and brother were hauling furniture and heavy objects from the trailer to the front yard; from the front yard to the basement, or the front porch.
My brother, my "little" brother, has begun a mans-work. He put in a ten-hour-work day, and never complained. Yes, he got tired. Yes, his body ached, yes he became irritable, but even a fully-grown man becomes irritable and tired after using every muscle in his body to help care for their family, protecting the ladies of the house by carrying the heaviest objects and giving them less physically strenuous things to do.
I certainly don't believe that heavy lifting is solely "man's work." I believe that Adam was given Eve to help him, and Eve was given Adam to help her. They worked together, helpers, help-meets, care takers for one another; they were put together to watch each others' backs...
Me and my bro!
We've got each others' backs!
We have always done a lot of talking together. But this year, our conversations have become deeper. We ask each other for advice, confide in each other, protect each others confidence, ask for support from one another, seek perspective from the other. If we need to be frustrated, there is enough trust and grace for each other that we know we can vent without a problem (just be sure to communicate that that's all your doing :). If we need to be sad, this is perfectly acceptable! When we need someone to say, "look, Jack, get your act together..." well... we do that too... we don't always accept it graciously, when it's offered... or given without being offered ;) but there is a bridge between us, a connection, a friendship, a relationship.
My brother, Fetche "Boy," is becoming Young-Fetche-Man.
He still absolutely loves spending as much time as he can wandering the great outdoors, discovering God's beauty and mysteries; pondering life in all it's magnificence, and day-dreaming about becoming Alexander the Great. He still nearly-breaks, at times, but our Lord created my brother to have a strong spirit, one that "never gives up! Never surrenders!"
I could go on and on and on, for quite some time, talking about all the joy and blessings I find in being my brother, Fetche-Boy's, sister... But it's enough for me to say to him, "I love you. I respect you. You're my best friend! Thanks for being there!!" And then making him a PB&J.
Gotta love a guy like that! ;)
Love ya, bro!