Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Steve 2012

This is my brother Steve, today he turns forty-five. None of my siblings have birthdays so close together as Steve and me. We're almost exactly ten years apart.
The very best part of my older siblings growing up and getting married was the eventuality of their offspring. We, the younger part of the family, spent our time waiting for our nieces and nephews to show up at our house. They were the perk of our existence, we'd entertain them for hours (days) on end. We'd babysit them, spoil them and pretend they were our own.
But I always wondered, being at the tail end, who would do that for my children someday? Everyone would be married and multiplying with only snippets to share for my posterity.
Ah, but I was wrong.
I didn't understand the power of Uncle Stevie.
Every few months Uncle Stevie, entouraged about with his delightful family, shows up at our doorstep and stays with us for awhile. He is the male counterpart to Mary Poppins. For his entire stay, he'll dote on my children, teasing, wrestling, throwing, laughing at their silliness, making me feel like I gave birth to the most precious pack on earth.
One mention of Steve's impending arrival to our house sends the children to the window, hand shooting every car that drives by not containing their precious Uncle Stevie. And when he does arrive, my house explodes like fireworks on the Chinese New Year.
He's better than Santa, Stevie Claus.
And when he finds a little time, when the children have stopped using his muscled body as a monkey toy, he'll give me a neck and shoulder rub, work out the kinks motherhood has placed on my spine and ask me how I am doing. Really doing.
I always answer honestly, knowing the range of compassion Steve has found in living his own life with its wild ride of expectations and surprise. In these moments I remember to never lament my position in my family. In my youth I loved my nieces and nephews whole-hearted and with all my energy, but my heart never knew what it was like for their parents. I never offered them a Parent's Massage.
Mostly when I think about Steve though, the word "lucky" comes to mind. As in, I am lucky to have him, and so are my children.

We'll all can't wait to see you this weekend Stevie!


Someone In Mind said...

Courtney, this is so beautiful. Everybody should have a Stevie!! Where's mine?

Allison Easley said...

You really, really are lucky. He sounds incredible. I only have 1 brother and he's 6 years my junior. My 2 sisters and I fight over who he'll stay with every time he comes up to Utah from Vegas where we grew up. He's a champ.

My dad always lamented that my mom would only give him 4 kids. 3 girls, 1 boy. He wished for more sons and he never got it but guess what, I've had 4 boys in my brood of 7, my sister has 4 boys as well and my brother himself has 3 boys of his own. Our family went from needing testosterone desperately to having an abundance and can I tell you how awesome it is? When the time comes, my parents will send a grandson on a mission every year for 9 years, sometimes doubling up and sending 2. I have chills just thinking about it but just know this, your parents did great work with Steve but you sisters, you're the ones who taught him how to treat a lady. All of your awesome brothers as well. You should pat yourself on the back for that. Or just have Steve do it for you the next time he's already there rubbing your shoulders. Lucky gal.

Sarah Wilks said...

I love that last photo - and wow, I want a Stevie! Parent's massage? Sounds GREAT! xx

Lindsey said...

We have lived far far away from family for years. I am so thrilled to be close to brothers and sisters again. You can make great friends, but no one loves your kids like family, and I have found it is really important for kids to know that there are are people other than their parents who do love them.
Happy Birthday Steve!

Aiketa said...

What an incredible man Stevie sounds!!! It seems that all your family is lucky to have him in it, but I think he would say he is also lucky!

I've been thinking all week that this Sunday is your birthday! Aren't you celebrating all week long?

Since you did it on previous years, you inspired me, and I've done the same the last 2 years. And it feels awesome!

I hope you, C. Jane, are having an AWESOME BIRTHDAY WEEK even though you don't have big plans for everyday!

Hugs and kisses from Barcelona!

Cheryl said...

Older siblings are wonderful, I am the youngest of 7 and look at them for all sorts of parenting advice and support!

Silvia said...

I have two sisters (no brothers) and when I had my first son I wondered how he and his older sister would grow up to be close. I just didn't understand how a brother and sister could have a bond that compared to what I have with my sisters. Twelve years and five children (3 boys and 2 girls) later I have seen the brother/sister relationship develop and it's really sweet. I'm happy to know that this will continue to adulthood. You're so blessed to have so many siblings enrich your lives in different ways.

aLi said...

ah, this made me tear up. Thanks Cjane. I miss my brothers... they each have a little "steve" in them.