Sunday, October 28, 2007

You are who you are

In many ways, my brother and I are extensions of who we were as children. We've grown and matured, of course, but we spend our days in much the same fashion.

I was an indoor kid. I read piles of books, and, after Mrs. McNeil's third grade class, I wrote story after story. I liked to be in the kitchen. I still have my kids' cookbook with the inscription "To the Jr. Mom." At church, I was always in the nursery helping out and I usually had a couple of little kids trailing around with me. As I got older, I helped with VBS and I babysat just about every weekend.

Not too much has changed.

And the same goes for my brother. A climbing, scrabbling, never-sit-still kid from the time he could walk, Mom used to joke she had to check him for a tail. He was an outdoor kid, digging in his Oshkosh overalls then playing Rambo in camo and army surplus gear. He drew army men, read about army men, and studied planes and tanks and guns. We caught him on the roof one time, using my dad's expensive binoculars to observe the preserve behind our house.

Not too much has changed. Well, he doesn't wear the headband. And his gun doesn't have the orange indicator of a water gun.

He left for Afghanistan almost three weeks ago. When I called him a few days before he left, I just kept laughing at the voice that on one hand talks so seriously about his mission and his part of the country he'll be working in and the other that's doing Simpsons quotes and comparing K to Texas and how he'll still have to get haircuts. He complained, mockingly, that if he gets the night shift, he'll be so pasty. He wants to be out in the thick, where he can influence and affect change, not sitting inside at a computer.

That's my brother. He's been training for this all his life.

1 comment:

patti said...

Wow....that is some good writing Ms. Fleming! I missed you this morning!! Love the picture! and you too!