Today my little brother Josh, who really isn’t very little, turned 16.
This is sort of a crazy out of body experience for me, knowing that he could be behind a wheel of a car and in two years graduate from high school and die for his country.
I remember when he was born. I think I was seven at the time and he is the only one of my siblings that I remember as a baby. I changed his diapers and remember singing him to sleep with one particular lullaby that I will probably never forget the words to thanks to the countless number of times I sang it to him.
“Hush little baby don’t say a word [sissy’s] gonna buy you a mocking bird…”
So now, seeing him at about six feet tall, and with his man voice, it is a strange thing. I know I’ve grown up because, well, I was there when it happened but I have missed the last several years of him growing up. Or at least I have just been there for bits and pieces of it. When I started my sophomore year of college he was shorter than me, so 5′ 1”. He is now, just two and a half years later, up to 6′ and still growing.
I remember one time, I went home for a weekend and I heard a man upstairs and could not figure out who was in my house. When I finally realized it was my brother talking to his x-box I almost cried right there in the front hallway.
Sometimes it is hard to notice ourselves growing up and changing, but it is easier to judge time passing based on someone else, especially if that someone happens to be your baby brother.
I am almost positive he was three years old yesterday. I can still see his little shaved head that Mom had to cut super short because my youngest sister, the sibling just older then him, decided to try her hand at being a barber and cut his hair all the way to his scalp. I can see him standing in the kitchen dressed in a purple dress and black paten-leather shoes, cheeks covered in tears. But that is what he gets for being the only boy with four big sisters. (He will probably kill me for posting that story on the Internet!) We were mean to him back then. We still are sometimes.
It is just strange to think that not long ago he was a baby, now he is almost grown. He does have a few years to go, but if the last 16 went so fast, chances are good the next 16 will go even faster.
Life changes quickly. You blink your eyes and your little brother is driving. Or you blink and you’re about to graduate college. But I wouldn’t trade the 16-year-old version of Josh for the three-year-old version. Even if he was the most precious little boy ever I like him how he is now too. It may weird me out that he has a man voice and goes on dates, but I get to be his friends now, not just be his big sister. Even though it changed, it got better. And I think that principle goes for life, and college.
I have loved the last four years of my life. And even though it has gone by way to fast, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. And judging by God’s pattern in my life, the next season is bound to be even better.
Someone once told me that God trades up. When we leave something we love because it is time, and because He says to, He always gives us something better. It is scary to leave the places we are used to, yes, but if we put our trust in the Lord we know, or we should know, that He will give us something even better.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”