Apparently there's some weather going on in these here parts.
My family in Wisconsin have all been hunkered up under a Blizzard Warning which covers almost the entire state of Wisconsin. There are many school and business cancellations because the weather is just that rough.
Wow, I don't remember seeing that much snow since I was just a wee little girl. Back then, I remember sometimes we would get so much snow that my sister and I would hear the favorite words of every Midwestern kid--SNOW DAY!
To us, a snow day didn't just mean getting the day off school. It also usually meant bundling up and ACTUALLY GOING OUTSIDE in all that snow, trying to build snowmen and snow forts amidst the swirling flakefest.
And whenever I think about building snowmen, my thoughts always go to my brother Dave. Dave is about fifteen years older than me, and he and I have always been known by the rest of my siblings as “Mom’s babies.”
I’m Mom’s baby because I’m the youngest sibling (and that’s the ONLY reason—don’t let them tell you otherwise!). Dave is Mom’s baby for other reasons: one of them, according to my sister Mary, is that when my Mom was pregnant with him, she was in labor for three days (!) before she had him…so my siblings tease him that he didn’t want to leave his Mommy. Another reason is that he’s the youngest boy in my family (after him, my Mom had five daughters)…and yet another reason is that Dave was sick with asthma so often as a child (we’re talking full-blown, horrible, emergency room type asthma), that my Mom paid extra close attention to him (as well she should have). So I guess it must have seemed to the rest of the kids that he was “babied” by my Mom.
The thing about Dave is that he totally takes this “baby” label in stride and laughs about it with the rest of my siblings. And this is only one example of what a likeable, caring, funny guy he is. All of my siblings love him--and in fact, I don't know anyone who doesn't like him. He's just a really great guy.
Dave's goofy sense of humor is something that I’ve always loved about him. Even when I was very little, I can remember being really excited because he was coming home from college for the weekend, and he always took time to play with his baby sister and make her giggle a whole bunch. (I think this picture here shows that pretty well.)
One winter day when I was four years old, I remember that I was waiting for Dave to come home. We had just had one of the first snowfalls of the year, and it was the good “packing” snow, the kind that is most excellent for making a snowman. I kept watching the driveway, hoping to see Dave’s car drive up any minute. Finally, when he arrived, I ran out to greet him, and he scooped me up in a big hug.
“Dave, can you help me build a snowman?” I asked.
Now, I’m sure that there were probably 10,000 other things that a college kid would rather do than build a snowman with his baby sister—like watch sports on t.v. (Dave loves loves loves sports—especially the Packers (boo!) and the Cubs (yay!) )—but right away, Dave agreed to help me build a snowman.
And so there we were, big brother and little sister, spending time together on a winter afternoon, rolling balls of snow around in the yard to build a snowman body and head—and topping it off with a winter hat, scarf, stick arms, mittens, button eyes and nose, and a big yarn smile (not to mention what appears to be a button-down shirt made of snow, according to this picture).
Isn’t this an awesome snowman?
I’ll never forget that day, and not because it was such a great snowman (even though it was)—but because I got to spend the day with my big brother Dave, one of the coolest, most fun people I know.
Nowadays, Dave has five children of his own, and they are all as sweet, funny, and kindhearted as their Dad (and their Mom—my sister-in-law Mary is one of the most kind, caring people you could ever meet).
Dave is a wonderful Dad, just as he is a wonderful brother.
I’m glad that I get to be a "baby" of the family with such a great guy.