"Volleyball!" I laughed, "We just came home from practice...the couch and food sounds nice. Besides, it's raining!"
Baylor shrugged. "We never play stuff anymore. I'm kinda lonely." (apparently it is possible to be lonely when 3 of your siblings are gone leaving only 7 remaining at home)
It was true. With volleyball, a full school load, music practice, lessons, canning and teaching school to the little guys even slack lining wasn't high on the priority list. Playing with my younger siblings? Who even had time to play? But at that moment an alarm went off in my head.
Your brother is growing up, Katie. You are growing up. The time to invest in his life is NOW.
However true that thought was, there was no way I was playing any more volleyball than I was committed to. Just too much of a good thing, you know? Then it hit me...
What about playing a sport I wanted to learn, Baylor loved to play, Baylor wanted to teach and Barrington would enjoy getting better at? I didn't think it was even possible to kill that many birds with one stone! (Turns out, you can't. However, you can do that many awesome things at once.)
Pretty much, it was awesome!
It was the first time in my life I spent that much quality time with just my brothers! We ended up driving to a beautiful resort, in the pouring rain, that had a special $5 fee "for those crazies" the manger told us. I am now a firm believer in poor weather golfing. When you are as good as me, with my yearly income and my kind of ball control, $5 days are amazing.
Lo and behold, the rain dried up two holes into the game and we had perfect weather from there on out! Praise the Lord!
In three hours, I learned so much about how sweet and studly my little brothers are. Barrington is Mr. Precision. He took every swing seriously and I only wish I could be as chill as he is when he swings!
Baylor is rapidly growing to be my "big" brother. He was such a good teacher, so patient, supportive and encouraging (and good). It was weird to have him telling me what to do! =) Then there was the boys' humor. I was constantly cracking up! Why hadn't I noticed all these things before?
"These were good memories," Barrington grinned on the way home.
Indeed they were.
But a pang of regret accompanied the warm satisfaction. Why had I waited so long? I had been in such a all-fired rush to "live life" that I was missing out on the lives around me!
Of course, I knew my brothers. I mean, we talk and stuff. We're friends. But they were rarely the sole object of my attention. Unconsiously, I had lumped my younger siblings together, and hadn't taken the time and effort it takes to get to know them in quality, meaningful ways. It's easy to do when you're busy. It's easy when there's ten younger siblings vying for your attention. But it's AMAZING when you take the time to build into their lives. I thought I was going to give, but instead I was supremely blessed! In the end, RELATIONSHIPS ARE ALL THAT MATTER!
Bay and Bear, thanks for being the coolest brothers out there! I feel like such a lady around you manly guys--so protected and cared for. I am so thankful to be your older sister! (and totally jazzed that you spent your time coaching me!)
I love you!
***I wrote this post three weeks ago. Since that fun-filled day, I have developed richer, sweeter relationships with each of my siblings than I ever thought possible. I guess where you spend your time truly shows where your priorities are. What better place to spend time, than with the people you love?