Meet Mitch. This is my “little” brother. He is two years younger than me, but could easily bench press me, so he always just shakes his head and smiles when I say that. Like many families, we live a ways apart; me in rural Missouri and him in super duper rural Iowa. Since we both are married with 3 kids each, both work and juggle hectic lives, we don’t see each other very often. These pictures were taken last summer as we watched our kids giggle and scream when they slid down our big slip-n-slide (BIG sheet of plastic). And I was showing off that I got an extra dose of the silly crazy gene (and in general pestering him because he likes it).
As far as we get away from each other geographically, there are things we share that no one else would ever know or understand. There are things inside both of us that shaped us to be who we are. There are things from our past that formed our ideals of life and how to live it. There are loves, and pains, and understandings that only we share and truly “get”. We even found out we have an extra little funky bone in our ankles when we both had ankle surgery last year.
Recently, I was able to go to Iowa with my kids to pay his crew a visit. With 6 kids, a couple dogs, and a few people not feeling well it is hard to squeeze in meaningful conversations. He ended up needing to take a quick drive to the closest Wal-Mart, a mere 30 minutes away, so I went with him to catch up. It was the craziest thing. As I listened to him talk about how things were going in his world, he was saying, nearly word for word, the same sentiments I have been sharing about various areas of my life. He is a teacher and coach of just about every sport offered in his area and I, in addition to blogging and being Mom, am the Ministry & Facility Coordinator for my church. Both of us are working in areas of service to build others up and attempting to show others what it takes to succeed in this life. Both of us very firm in our beliefs on discipline, strong work ethic, structure, organization, communication, accountability, respect, integrity, and the list goes on! As he rattled on about proper chains of command, job descriptions, accountability measures, procedure manuals, spreadsheets, and how to be a leader, I thought I was going to pass out. It was like we shared a brain! Apparently, we both talk about these exact ideals frequently and passionately. We both have a profound drive for truth, supporting the underdog, helping people reach their potential and an overpowering drive to show kids love, support and that they are sooo very worth it! We do our best not to only speak about such traits, but do our best to model these exact behaviors.
I had focused more on our differences in the past, but seeing our similarities so clearly blew me away. We didn’t attend high school together and spent big chunks of our adolescence apart. And as adults we don’t talk to terribly often as much as we try to stay in touch. But, despite the distance and differences, we know, to our core, that we love each other very much even if he is the stubborn one.
So, here’s to you, Mitchy!! Happy Siblings Day! Love you bunches! And thanks for not dropping me on my head too many times.
P.S. If you really want to find out more about my smelly little brother (of whom I am insanely proud), check these out!