I want to start by saying how incredibly proud I am of you. It very literally is an emotion beyond my comprehension, it consumes me so. Who would have thought?
I remember when you were that little blue eyed brat, when you had ladies wrapped around your cerulean gaze and curly white-blonde hair. You were 2 years old, and people would stop and stare at your beauty. The hairstylists would shake their head when we brought you in for a trim – “no no, can not cut! Too pretty! Bad luck to cut!” They would yell, so it was up to mom or myself to get your trims in. Not that we cut it very short anyhow. Seeing you brush perfect curls out of your eyes as you looked at pictures in flight manuals was worth having you look like a wild boy.
I remember you being just old enough to run, getting on a bicycle for the first time and riding away, laughing the whole way. When you fell out of the tree in the backyard, you didn’t tell anyone because you didn’t want to get in trouble. Mom caught you in the bathroom, pouring alcohol over your scrapes and biting on a hanger so no one would hear you. And who could forget the sheets of paper you had already taped to your legs, in an effort to mask the blood? I was crying from laughing so hard.
You were such a little punk, and I worried about you. Rules and discipline just didn’t apply to you, because everything was fun. Running after you, screaming and threatening to beat you into the next dimension was a game of tag. Being locked in your room for taking the computer apart was a chance to perfect your 3D model of your favorite plane of the day.
It seems that you purged out all of your unruly habits in the first decade of your life. Now, every time I see you, you’ve grown another two feet and grown accustomed to a new level of tranquility. You wake up at 6 on your own accord, get ready for school, and then put yourself to bed until everyone else is ready. You’re described as “a quiet, but powerful presence” by your teachers. If a leader is needed, you’re chosen. Not because you’re everyone’s best friend, but because you get the job done. As school ends, you work on math in the calculus professor’s classroom. You argue with the marching band instructor about not allowing 8th graders to march. You come home and practice your trumpet. You go to boyscouts to work on your eagle scout project. You come home, call some friends. Play minecraft. Usually, you get around to homework. You obsess over cars, figuring out how you’ll afford your dream fix-up hatchback when you turn 16. You practice your Civil Air Patrol formations, calling your squadron leader to get details on the next meeting.
I love you, little brother. You fill me with such hope. You’re so different from me, but we both have an undying passion for what we love. Life is going to have its way with you yet, but I know you’ll be able to take it. I always forget that you’re only 13.
I miss you a lot.
Your big sister