Hard to believe that eighteen years ago, Kristin and I were blissfully unaware, reading 'Where's Wally' in bed when you made your grand entrance into the world. I remember so clearly the little details; the moment Rosemary came in to tell us Mum had gone into hospital, the pack of cards Kristin noticed were missing from the bookshelf (guilty Dad!), the phone call when we found out we had a little brother who looked like he was going to have ginger hair, the way we merrily skipped into school telling everyone we met that you were here, the clock watching and finger tapping that happened that day at school, arriving at the hospital and seeing you; teeny tiny and practically bald and thinking you were the best thing ever!
I have learnt so much from you over the years... In many ways, you taught me how to be a Mama - how to give a bottle, change a nappy, fold a buggy, bath a newborn, how to rock a little one to sleep. You taught me what it meant to be fiercely protective of someone, and showed me that looking after a baby is a HUGE responsibility and pretty hard work at times (you didn't regularly sleep through the night til you were three!) You were the one who confirmed my desire to be a teacher and excitedly joined in with your little friend Gabi to be the first class I ever taught! Thank you for your patience and enthusiasm!
You were always my little ally: fighting my corner, obeying my every command! Kristin got so frustrated with you for that... And you totally played up to it!
I watched you grow gradually, and then I left, went up north, and the growing seemed to happen much more suddenly... My little brother was becoming my big brother.
Then Dave came on the scene and we watched you morph your little eleven year old self into him overnight... The same hoody, the same chequered shoes. It was so cute.
Then suddenly you became a man. No longer my little brother, but my big little brother. You had your own taste, your own style and your own opinions. My protective mothering of you became a deep respect for you. I respect you for your independence, your wisdom, your strength of character and your walk with Jesus.
As you turn eighteen, and head off to uni in the not too distant future, will you take one more piece of advice from your little big sister?
Look always to the Saviour... So much has happened in the last eighteen years, and I'm so excited to see what the next eighteen hold for you... God has been so gracious to you in giving you our wonderful godly parents, a fantastic church, good friends, a great education and incredible opportunities. Don't waste those things: use them for his glory and use these next eighteen years to share the incredible news about Jesus with everyone you can. Whatever these years hold, trust him completely... he has proved his faithfulness and can be trusted like no other.
That will be eighteen years well spent.
Love you, (my not so) little bro...
Oh, and HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY ALBY!
I've been shortlisted for the BIBs "Inspire" category. Thank you SO much to all of you who nominated me... I am utterly humbled and grateful... and slightly gobsmacked! If you do like the blog and would like to vote for me in the "Inspire" category, you can do so below. Just put a tick in the box beside "Clarina's Contemplations" under the Inspire category! THANKS!