It’s not too often that I delve deeply into my own personal life in this blog. I prefer (and I think my readers prefer) to keep to the topic of writing and giving updates on the books that I am working on. I mean, in all honesty, your real interest here is no such much my life, but the lives of my character – which is how it’s supposed to work.
However, there are some events that pass through a person’s life where you have to pause and offer up a few intimate words about your own life. After all, this is my blog and I can damn well write whatever I want. So, if you’d rather not journey into the personal, I would stop reading now.
If you were not aware, I have two younger brothers, and the oldest of the two has turned 30 years old today. I have to blink and shake my head at that number at times. While I’m at ease with my own age, I look at that number and wonder how it is possible that so many years have passed for him. I can so easily remember him as a frowning, serious, intense child that was never far from his bike or his friends. I remember so many summers where he would set out just as the dew was drying from the grass and not return again until my mother called for dinner.
There are less than three years between us, making us close siblings. While time has blurred too many facts from my past, I remember my life with my brother. I remember endless petty arguments over toys, chores, who gets to ride in the front seat of the car. But just as easily, I can’t even begin to count the seemingly endless hours spent with my own special playmate as we shot army men with rubber bands, rolled matchbox cars across the hardwood floor, and just lived in our own worlds of imagination the way only children could.
While your twenties seem to hold those last years of reckless youth and carefree abandon, your thirties seem to offer up that turning point your life when you take on a new mantle of responsible provider, father, husband, and protector. The carefreeness seems to slip away just a little bit and you notice a couple new lines in your smile and frown that weren’t there so long ago.
So, to my brother, who has been newly welcomed into the family of the thirties, I would like to offer you up a few words of advice from someone who has spent a few years in this decade.
Love the small moments. There will be times when the world seems to overwhelm you, but watch for those small moments within the chaos. Whether it be the innocent laugh of your daughters or an unexpected loving gesture from your wife on a hard day, cherish that time. It will wipe the rest of the world away.
Don’t stop laughing. You have always had the amazing ability to make me laugh, particularly in the moments when it seemed like I had lost the ability all together. Keep laughing and nothing can stop you.
You are loved. Remember that at all times, in good and in bad, you are loved greatly by your family. We are there through thick and thin.
Happy birthday, my little brother. Thank you for so many years of silently protecting me while I worked so hard to silently protect you from the world. I wish you many more wonderful years ahead of you and may 30 simply be the start of something great.