My little brother got married this weekend. I never thought it would happen. More importantly, I never thought he would make me so proud.
It wasn’t too long ago that the both of us would be at each other’s throats the moment we stepped into the same room. We were always very different; he, an angry young man whose only world was the world of warcraft, while the driving force in my life was the pursuit of education. Ha! I sound like a snob. But in fact, I always resented him for making trouble in our family. Troublemaker he was, trouble.
One day he dropped a bomb on us all by announcing his decision to join the marines, the most intense and dangerous of the American defense foot soldiers. He said he needed more discipline in his life. I thought I’d never see him again.
Turned out he was sent to Washington D.C. to be a flag-boy thanks to his pretty blue eyes and blond hair. Now don’t get me wrong. He was eventually shipped over-seas and saw his share of Egypt and Iraq, before leaving the marines for good. Still, during his time on the idyllic green lawns of the White House, he met Jen. Jennifer Moore, to be precise. I was abroad during the time they met and got to know each other. I finally saw the two of them together last July in Hawaii. She was fairly shy at the time, but Michael was someone new.
For the first time in my life, he answered me in a serious, as opposed to sarcastic, get-out-of-my-face, tone of voice, at least when he wasn’t cranky. But hey, it was a start. Suddenly he was kind and considerate and gentle, and I could tell him that I loved him without getting a sneer in return.
During the weekend of their wedding, Saint Patrick’s Day, all traces of sarcasm have vanished. In fact, when Jen gets cranky or annoyed, Michael is now the one that comforts her and maintains the voice of reason. He was the mediator between my mom and myself during a family-only discussion, calmly explaining each side and helping us to understand each other.
I never cried so much in my life as I did that weekend. My baby brother has grown up.