Happy Birthday to my Baby Brother

And when I say “Baby” I mean it literally. Mike is 23 years old today. My SON is 20.

I was already married when Mom called me and said, “I know why I’ve been so sick lately.” Yep, she was going to have a baby.

I was just starting my student teaching semester when my grandmother called me. “Your mom’s going to the hospital.” I had a big project due that day, so I had to race to college, turn in the paperwork, and NO ONE WOULD BELIEVE ME when I said my mom was having a baby. Then I had to race across town to get my grandmother, who insisted I drive her ginormous Chevy truck downtown to the hospital. Once we got there, we couldn’t find Mom or Joe. When I finally did find Mom, she was in recovery from her c-section, and said, “Did you see him?” We finally saw Mike, laying by the window in the nursery, naked as a jaybird!

Mike and I bonded pretty good, especially the summer I was pregnant, and the summer my grandmother died. The summer I was pregnant, I spent every day at Mom’s. Fred would drop me off in the morning and pick me up in the evening, because I was scared to stay home alone. The hardest thing for me when my son was born was NOT seeing Mike every day.

When my grandmother fell, Mike was home alone with her. In a lot of ways, he blamed himself. When she was in rehab and the nurse was trying to tell us what to do to help her, and the nurse kind of snapped at Mike. He about melted down. So I took him away, and later that summer, my other brother took him to the coast, just to get his mind off of it. It was a pretty terrible summer, but we became closer because of it, and that would make my grandmother happy.


This past year has been a real growing up experience for Mike. He has his first real job (teaching, naturally) and his first apartment. I took him shopping for cookware–he loves to cook. Go figure. He called me the other night to tell me he was thinking about me because he was using the cookware! And when he first started teaching this year, he’d call me every morning. So funny.

So happy 23rd, Mike! May there be many, many more!


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