Eleven-ish years ago when my husband and I had just started dating, he met his older brother for lunch and told him about me. His older brother had given him a gentle warning about dating a single mom. He himself had met and married a wonderful woman with two young sons so he knew what was what. They lived happily ever after adding three more beautiful children to their family.
With this being in the back of my mind, I was pretty nervous the first time I met said older brother and the rest of the family. My husband seemed even more anxious than me so how this would all go down was up in the air. But, as we pulled up, parked, and unbuckled the two year old, Older Brother said, “Sure is nice seeing a car seat in the back of your car, Joe.” The tension was instantly eased as we were officially introduced.
Older Brother and I have teaching in common, and I quickly learned that he wasn’t just any older brother, he is an extremely intelligent older brother. Over the years we have had several conversations about education. When he later became a principal, we had one of these conversations over breakfast at Bob Evans while he was in town visiting his mom. He explained how he and a teacher in his building were not seeing eye to eye about reading. He stated how he feels it is just fine for kids to be reading comic books, but this teacher disagreed with him. I had always suspected he would be a fantastic principal. In fact I had even sent him a message about an administration opening in the district I was working in at the time, but when he made that comment, I knew what an amazing principal he truly was. His school is lucky to have him as their leader.
Last winter he called my husband to talk about some issues going on with their mom. Older Brother was quick to ask how my husband was holding up dealing with all of the new stresses and complications going on with their mother. That is the type of person he is, voicing his concern about his younger brother’s well being and offering a sympathetic ear.
When we spend time visiting with Older Brother and his family, he asks our children questions about their lives and interests. This is not just because he is a nice person making small talk, but because he genuinely cares about their lives and who they are as people.
Easy going. Intelligent. A Leader. Caring. Genuine. Sincere. Just some of the many adjectives one could use to describe Older Brother.
I am the oldest sibling in my family. Growing up I often imagined what it would be like to have a sibling older than me. Someone I could look up to, someone to admire their confidence and wisdom, someone who always fully embraces life. It only took me a few decades to finally have the older brother I always wanted.