Younger ‘brother’ preps to leave the nest

Mile High Thoughts

Growing up, I had a younger sister I did everything with. We played dress-up, we rode our bikes on warm, sunny days and, as we grew older, we spent time shopping or watching movies together.

Only having a sister, I wasn’t exposed to boy things like wrestling in the middle of the living room, playing in the mud or trying to do crazy things on the trampoline.

As I got to know my nowhusband Seth during our dating years, I found out he had three brothers … and I panicked.

How on earth was I supposed to get along with three brothers? What was I going to talk about when I was with them?

Early on in our relationship, I met Seth’s youngest brother, Luke, and we’ve developed a special brothersister relationship. Luke, who happens to turn 18 today and graduates next Friday, from Fredericksburg High School, has become like the brother I never had.

He confides in me about things he won’t tell his older brothers, like finding date ideas. He talks to me when he is frustrated and down on himself, trying to make decisions for the future.

Luke also cares for everyone he comes in contact with.

He loves on our nephew, Matthew, who is seven, playing football in the street and playing football on the PlayStation. He teaches him the proper throwing technique, and makes sure he doesn’t always win.

One summer, when he was attending Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp, he was struggling to come up with an idea of what to make in woodcarving.

The instructor brainstormed with him, coming to the consensus that he wanted to make something for me. At the end of the week, he handed me a hand-made plaque with a camera on it, well-aware of my passion for journalism and photography.

Two summers later, he made me a necklace from pewter with my initials. These are two gifts that I will forever cherish.

For those who know Luke, they know that his mind wonders to weird places. A conversation about the Dallas Cowboys could be taking place and he will suddenly jump to the time he ate the best fried chicken in the world.

Which brings me to his appetite. Leftovers were something we had on a regular basis in my family. With Luke around, he is the garbage disposal, consuming all the leftover food and then walking to the pantry to find more.

Most recently, we spent three hours in the car driving to the FHS softball game at Leander Glenn High School. He talked the whole way there, barely taking a breath between talking and jamming out to a country song.

Most of the conversation revolved around plans for prom, his first high school dance ever. We talked about dinner plans, plans for taking pictures and ideas for what to talk about as they were driving from location to location.

On Saturday morning, Luke paced across the house, both anxious and excited for the big dance. I reminded him that it was about having fun, and being himself.

To calm his mind, we spent time playing MLB The Show on the PlayStation. I kicked his butt twice so I doubt he will want to play that game again with me.

As he heads off to college in August, I know he and the rest of the family are so excited for his future.

He has spent time building cabinets at Chris Kaiser Builders and will continue to learn the trade at Texas State Technical College in Waco.

While I am so excited for this new venture, I am going to miss having my brother around. I am going to miss hearing high school gossip, making fun of him and playing games with him.

It has been a joy spending time with him, seeing him mature and grow into a young adult.

Sometimes we spend so much time together that we get asked if I am his mother or girlfriend, but my favorite moment is when he replies, “No! This is my sister!”

So, as he heads off on this new adventure, I hope he knows how proud I am to be his “sister.” He has done great things and will continue to do so.

Thanks for teaching and showing me how much fun it is to have a brother.

Love you, Luuuuuke.

mckenzie@fredericksburgstandard.com

Fredericksburg Standard

P.O. Box 1639
Fredericksburg, TX 78624-4228
830-997-2155