day 7 // the babiest brother.
A friend messaged me today that it seems that it’s a birthday everyday here. And the truth is, everyday I have woken up here so far feels like it’s my birthday. Because when I wake up on my birthday I feel like no one expects anything from me. I feel like there are no rules. I feel like I should soak up every second of the day. I feel like celebrating the life I’ve been given. I feel lighter. I feel older. I feel better.
Yep, that’s how I feel here.
But today it actually was my brother’s birthday. Seven-freakin’-teen. The significance of seventeen here isn’t that it’s the best year ever for most everyone. The freedom-to-responsibility ratio is really unparalleled by any other year on planet earth, IMO. But, no, the significance of seventeen here is that that’s how old I was when I got my brother Cooper. I remember I was working on the maintenance crew at Sterling College that summer (where my painters and weed killers at?!). My friends Colin and Carrie had been at our house the night before, and it was very common for my friends to want to hang out with my parents more than me when they were at our house. (My mom’s a babe and my dad’s hilarious.) So we were hanging in the living room with my parents and my mom kept saying “there’a another contraction…” and I didn’t think anything of it. Until I woke up the next morning for work and my parents were gone.
(Editor’s note: they had woken me up in the middle of the night saying they were going to hospital. But I’m a phenomenally hard sleeper. Once slept through a tornado knocking an actual oak tree through the roof into my bedroom. That’s Kansas Nicolle, thankuverymuch.)
So I woke up and came to and drove my other brothers Taylor & Riley over to the hospital. I remember we hit a Burger King drive through on the way. Beyond that, that day was a blur. But the meaning of having a brother 17 years younger than me is clear as day.
He showed ME what it really meant to be a mom years before I was one. I remember mom up late nursing and dragging the carseat to volleyball tournaments. Maybe that’s why I was realistic about what having a newborn looked like. He kept me coming home every six weeks when I went to college - bc I was so afraid if I didn’t, he would never know me. Maybe that’s why I never fell out of love with this town. And when he is up in his room practicing drums at approximately 8 million decibels, I remember trying to practice the piano while my brothers watched the tv too loud. And maybe that’s why I could play through the gigs where no one was listening in the early years.
Maybe it’s the babiest brother that taught me how to grow up the most. I don’t know. All I know is he was there when I turned 17. In diapers. In mom’s arms. And I was there when he turned 17. In pajamas. In the house next door.