He’s 20 today.
The boy who educated me on X-Men and classic Spiderman comics, the one who sang Lion King every day while doing the dishes, the boy who couldn’t pronounce “gases” because he learned it from a book and had never heard it spoken. The boy who played Playmobil with me for hours on end without ever getting bored. The kid who would burst through my door at 5am on Christmas morning and sit on the end of my bed, nudging my feet until I woke up. The boy who wasn’t embarrassed to hug me, no matter how “cool” he thought he was.
The guy who played 4 hours of Go-Fish at our great-uncle’s funeral at my request, and didn’t complain even once. This kid knows way more about Pokemon than pretty much any other boy I have ever met. He also rocks his wardrobe of primary colors like a pro. He could out-snapback you any day.
He once told the same joke for an entire year: “two drums and a cymbal fall off a cliff: duh-dum-tish!”
Thank God that we have almost the exact same sense of humor, because he has kept me sane (and laughing) through countless boring life events. He has forgiven me many more times than I probably deserved, when I asked for it and when I didn’t. He has put up with my spazz attacks, rants, days when I’m randomly cranky and when I’m slap-happy and ADD. He has still believed in me when I’ve made enormous mistakes, mistakes so big that I just wanted to crawl under a porch and die.
I hope you know a love like that. And if you don’t right now, I hope you do someday. Because that love will change you and mold you and make you sure of yourself when you forget, and give you the boost into the sky that you need on your bad days. He isn’t just my brother for life, he is my friend for life. He is someone I do life with on a regular basis, who I could call at 3am if I needed him. He might pick up the phone and say “Why the %*@# are you calling me at 3am?”, but hey, it’s the thought that counts right?
Out of every year I’ve ever known him, this past year might be the most special year yet. He really took himself on this year in a way I’ve never seen him do before, and the day he came with me to counseling made me so proud of him that I could have exploded. He’s well on his way to doing big, adult-like things, and I couldn’t be more excited for him.
The day I called him and told him I was going to be joining him at Taylor University next fall, after cheering (loudly) he began to jubilantly list all the fun things we’re going to do together, coffee dates and living in the same dorm and eating lunch together and starting a worship team together. And that’s just like him, to be legitimately thrilled to see me and spend time with me. He’s just that kind of person, the kind of guy whose enthusiasm is contagious.
Doug, I love you so much it hurts. I hope your twentieth year is as hilarious, honest, brave, kind, thoughtful, and amazing as your nineteenth was. You deserve it.