This was the day after his junior prom. Black and white captures a sense of nostalgia for me. This smile is so totally Zack it’s alarming . . . typically when I say ‘Z, let’s take a picture. . . SMILE!’ this is the face I will get nine out of ten times. This is not my most favorite picture of us, but it’s up there . . . because it is so imperfect that it is perfect, much like our friendship/relationship/brother and sister being. Z is my hero, my go to guy, a tear wiper, giggle maker, and drinking partner. He’ll listen to music too loud with me, stop his fun time to come join me for mine, make me laugh when all I can fathom doing is cry, and he always has an opinion about everything I do.
Z wears a poker face like a champ and I wear my heart on my sleeve, but I know he loves me and would throw elbows to protect me. He is a good ‘ole country boy who is always up for a good time, but knows how to slow his roll and have a serious conversation, too. He doesn’t give his heart easily, but if you are lucky enough to have a piece of it, you better treat it with the utmost care. He dreams big and laughs bigger.
Z used to really bother me. . . I viewed him as a massive intrusion on my perfect, pink universe. I remember thinking his hands smelled oddly wrong, and his very being cramped my style. He liked to line up all his loudest tractors, trucks, and various toys the length of our living room and have a “parade.” This thoroughly pissed me off. He was also known to, on the spot, write original song lyrics on long, winding drives. . . they went like this: hung-a-da, hung-a-da, hung-a-da, hung-da-a, hung-da-a, hung-a-da, hung-aaaaaa (repeat x 1000). . . This, I was sure at the time, would be the reason why no one would ever, in the entire universe, think I was cool . . . because of the unparalleled lameness accomplished by my little brother.
Clearly this has all changed . . . although he has been known to break out that one hit wonder at the most inappropriate times (read: when I am PMSing to the max) and it still seems ultimately lame to me. But, as it turns out, he ended up way cooler than me, prettier than me, and funnier than me. . . but let’s all agree to claim I taught him everything he knows.
Z is everything I am not: calm, cool, collected, laid back, rolls with the punches, and fearless. He inspires me every day to grab the world by the balls and take on a challenge. He’s the guy that hates reading, but secretly reads my blog every night. He’s the guy who will show up out of nowhere on the dance floor and spin a girl around until she’s dizzy. . . ‘cause he’s just that awesome. He’s the perfect combination of my two gorgeous parents: he can fix anything with his hands like my papa and help heal a broken heart with his words like my mommy.
Z is unpredictable and so not a planner. He balances out my neurotic nature and strongly believes the problems of the world may very well be solved around a bon fire with an ice cold Bud Light in hand. He lets his six year old nature come out by wrestling on the floor with our dog, Moses, and becomes wise beyond his years when working on a truck, in a field, or in plumbing.
He is beautiful, and is told so all the time, but doesn’t necessarily buy into it. He’ll melt your pissy mood with a shit eating grin and knows just what to say and knows just when to say it. He’s my brudder and I’m his seester and I love when he calls me “Sneff.”
Our relationship is a “love to bug the shit outta you, can’t wait to tell you this story, let’s drive into Troy for Wendy’s on a Wednesday” kind of thing. I know I’m always welcome wherever he goes and he’ll always have a bear hug to wrap me up in every night. No girl will ever be “good enough” for my little brother, but I know one day I’ll have to suck it up and love her anyway, because if he is happy, I am happy because I’m the big sister and I’ll do what it takes to ensure just that.
Sometimes I act like a mother hen instead of a sibling, but it’s only because I am absolutely NUTS about this kid. . . I’d be lost without him and now I have incredible pictures to remind me of all the ways he shaped my world and still does.
For all the girls out there that don’t have brothers: I am deeply sorry for you. If you don’t have a brother, you have no idea what it’s like to have your very own solider ready and waiting at a moment’s notice to fight in your honor. If you don’t have a brother, you don’t know what it’s like to grow up with someone who holds all your secrets, all your memories, and shares all your laughter. If you don’t have a brother, you don’t know what it’s like to never actually grow up . . . because when the two of you are together, it’s as if you’ll forever be children running outside to play. If you don’t have a brother, you don’t know what it’s like to always have a date for a movie, a slumber party partner, a designated driver, a best friend.
For all the girls out there that do have a brother: I hope you have these same experiences with your brother . . . and if you don’t, make sure he knows it’s never too late to start.
I love photographs. I am not always fantastic at remembering to get my camera out of my purse and capture photo-worthy moments, but I love them. I have some of my favorites framed and about three albums filled from 5th grade memories to now. Some of my favorite pictures are of my brother and me. . . So here's what this picture is worth, to me, in two words. . .
Love you, Z.
So, go take a picture. . . What is it worth, to you, in one thousand, or two, words?