I believe in little brothers. The innocence and excitement they have for a new day helps me to view life in a new way. The purest and most genuine love is found within their hearts.
One of my favorite times with my two little brothers comes every year on Christmas Eve. Jeffrey calls it our tradition and will not let anyone skip out. After opening gifts and experimenting with our newest possessions, Jeffrey, Jayden, and I lay out cookies and milk for Santa and hay for the reindeer. I am repeatedly informed that the reindeer get hungry too. We all climb into my bed and watch Christmas movies until our dad makes us turn the television off and tells us to go to sleep. However, sleep does not come for hours. We tell stories and jokes, sing songs, and ask silly questions to one another. Giggling is almost a constant, but some of the deepest eight year old thoughts can be found in my bed on Christmas Eve. It seems like we have been asleep for a mere five minutes when we are awakened by some obnoxious song. Each year getting a little earlier, Jeffrey sets an alarm on his phone for some insane time in the morning. The simplicity of this night helps me remember the importance of not only family, but the small joys each day brings forth. The significance of our night may not be obvious to some, but it is a time when we can simply enjoy each other’s company in the absence of any type of stress the outside world brings. We only worry about how to bring the next smile to another’s face. This purest love is not prideful or selfish. It is simply love, no strings attached. The look in their eyes of complete satisfaction with any accomplishment from coloring inside the lines to scoring a touchdown gives a warm feeling deep inside of me as I let my pride of them glow. Anyone with a little brother knows that every accomplishment is a major one and calls for a celebration. These so called “small” accomplishments and celebrations make getting through a hard day that much easier. Happiness is the key to celebration and to life. To my little brother’s, happiness is an automatic emotion triggered by simply waking from a nights slumber. Waking up happy easily allows happiness to be my dominant emotion throughout the day. My happy days are far greater in number thanks to those two little boys waking up down the hall. I would not trade my Saturday mornings of watching cartoon re-runs for any other activity. The thrill they get from seeing the Ninja Turtles defeat a nemesis even though they have seen the cartoon countless times before gives me hope of the simplicity of life. From Jeffrey and Jayden, I have learned to always be happy, try my best, sleep in, and treat every day as a new adventure.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.