Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Small Fry

My youngest brother graduates on Thursday. 
Holy Moley, I remember the day he was born. 
I wanted a sister (I already had two brothers) and was conVINCED that the next one would be a girl. 
Turns out, he wasn't (much).
I threw a tantrum (but then, I was only just seven at the time and also very prone to throwing tantrums).
Kind of what B looked like as a baby.
Sometimes when our mother went out in the village without him, he would wait for her on our front doorstep, completely naked except for his red welly boots, holding a mini shopping bag that said 'Here Comes Trouble' across the front, with his beloved toy cat and rabbit in my doll's pushchair.
We were all relieved when he grew out of that phase.
Aged 17.

Ben the archaeologist.
Despite the reasonable age-gap, Ben and I spent a lot of time together. To begin with he was pretty much like my living doll awesome and when he started talking only I could understand what he said (my parents were a little freaked out by this). As he grew older I shouted at him a lot - a well-known sign of affection between siblings, no? - and was extremely somewhat mean to him (builds character). My eldest brother and I may or may not have told B that he was wanted the least by my parents because he was the last child (I told you it was character building. As in, building an emotionally and psychologically scarred human being...).
I'm still getting over the fact that he's old enough to drive...
My other two brothers went off to boarding school when B was pretty small, which meant that for a lot of the time it was just him and me. It was kind of cool.
By the time that B was 12, I went off to university and the age-gap seemed to widen. Imagine my delight, then, when he chose to come to Scotland for his degree (Scotland's second best university) I was pretty excited; we were back on a level playing field. 
Ben and a cake.
I can't believe the four years have gone so quickly, and I can't believe that my baby brother will be a graduate in two days' time (I say baby brother, but he's actually 21 and 6'4"). He's been through a lot while at university but has stuck to his guns with a maturity and determination that I can only ever aspire to. 
He never fails to amaze me.
Although, sometimes he is still a TOTAL arse.
Ben admiring his moobs/ sticking to his guns.
Ha ha, he'll KILL me if he ever sees this!
As a graduation present, I bought him this:
Have you read it? 
Here's the last bit:
You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up 
with many strange birds* as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed? 
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 per cent guaranteed.)
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So... get on your way!

*I hope that he does not get mixed up with too many strange birds... we might need to have words about this.

So, what I really wanted to say was: Well done, Small Fry, the world is your oyster. 
Oh, and even if you're not as good at table-tennis as DPB, I still love you.


Gesci said...

Yay for Ben!! Also, I'd like a piece of that... cake. HAHAHAHA. God, I'm old.

the Frugal Ecologist said...

What a sweet tribute to your brother!

& I love that book - my dad read an excerpt at our wedding.

Anonymous said...

Good God, that's your brother? Someone pass the smelling salts!

I envy your life, i'm on my own most of the time, I wish i was surrounded by children and dogs and mud. I'll swap you a bag for yours anyday.