It's interesting how family dynamics are and how sibling relationships develop. I have a very different relationship with each of my siblings. Ben being the baby always made me more sympathetic to him. I was always looking out for him and didn't mind him tagging along for the most part. We have a similar sense of humor and we actually had fun together. Part of me was always jealous of him because he was the baby and seemed to get away with stuff but I could never stay mad at him for too long.
(notice how many B has compared to the rest of us...)
He is a goof ball, seriously, he's like a giant kid. Sometimes this annoys me more than it is endearing, but it's a huge part of who he is so I have to love him for it.
He is a hard worker. He doesn't find the easiest way, he finds the right way...even if it means more work. He builds houses for a living not just because it's a pay check, but because he is great at it and enjoys it.
This is Ben building my deck for me...
He is a great tio to my kids. My kids love their Tio Ben and even more sweet than that is that they know that their Tio Ben loves them. He has made great efforts to spend time with them. When Camden was born he spent two weeks with us, mainly hanging out with my girls to give me a break.
He is a fighter. This has been a good thing and a bad thing in his life, but overall I think it's been a good thing...as long as he's on the right side of the cause. Ben has been through a lot in his 30 years on this planet and he has overcome things that most people spend their whole lives trying and failing to overcome. Many would not even attempt to overcome at all because it's just too hard. Ben is truly an inspiration to me and my family.
Some of my favorite memories with Ben are watching him wrestle and compete in various other athletics. I'm a natural born cheer leader and cheering on someone I love is my favorite kind of cheering. I have traveled hundreds, maybe even thousands of miles, made many a sign and cheered until I've almost lost my voice.
Holidays with Ben are always a little unexpected. One year when he was with us for Christmas, Batman showed up to celebrate.
When it comes down to it, Ben is a good guy. He makes me laugh, but sometimes his headlocks make me cry. He checks in on me and still likes to hang out with his old sister. Which is really impressive since we really don't have a whole lot in common these days.
What I love most about my littlest brother is that he may be rough around the edges but inside he has a heart of gold.
Happy 30th Ben!
I will gladly give you unsolicited advice 'til the cows come home and I would clean out your car, clean up your house and even scrub your muddy boots 'til they shined because that is how much I love you!