Younger brother turned out pretty good after all

A few months ago, I was clueless about what to write, so I opened my Facebook status to suggestions for column subjects. I kept a list of those ideas and revisited them each week to see if I felt particularly inspired by any of them. For this week, an idea about little brothers caught my eye

The suggestion was ?how to bug your little brother and still let him know you love him.? This column is going to take a slightly different turn, but I wanted to give credit to Dale and Rachel Winter for planting the thought in my mind. Thanks, you guys rock.

My younger brother, Jacob, is now 15. He?s a freshman at Hillsboro High and one of my favorite people on the planet. Those of you who know and understand our relationship might feel confused about that statement?Jacob and I are known to bicker incessantly. We?re always verbally jousting, throwing sarcastic remarks and doing little things to annoy each other, rolling our eyes, and sighing dramatically.

I?ve seen over the past few years, though, that our arguing has become more good-natured. Maybe it?s because I left for college and now truly cherish the time I get to spend with him, or maybe it?s because we?ve both grown up a lot. Either way, I?m glad it?s happened.

One of the things I?ve realized recently is that Jacob is so talented?artistically, musically, athletically, spiritually and relationally. There are few 15-year-olds that I would want to sit and have an intense conversation with, but Jacob is one of them. He is hilarious, interesting, brilliant, and just the best brother ever. ?Awwwwww,? I know.

I suppose I could try to attribute his awesomeness to my wonderful sister-ing abilities, or maybe, more deservingly, to my incredible parents. To be honest, though, I think God just did a really good job making him. There is so much going on with him?he has so many dreams, talents, ideas, thoughts, and opinions?even if he isn?t always quick to share what?s on his mind.

I keep saying that I?m glad I?m not the younger sibling, because I?d be the dorky little sister who could never measure up to her stud brother.

All right, all right. Enough talk about how great Jacob is. Let?s talk about the stuff I love to do to annoy him.

I use his toothbrush every time I?m home, usually because I?ve left mine at school (also, his is cooler). This is apparently disgusting and germy, so he takes the passive aggressive route and leaves me notes telling me to stop. Never!

I call him ?baby brother? all the time and talk at him in a little baby voice and pinch his cheeks. Granted, I have to reach up pretty high to reach the giant?s face, but it?s still a favorite annoy tactic.

My final favorite thing to do is take the lids off of everything in the bathroom. I am considerably less tidy than he to begin with, and can exacerbate his disapproval of my lack of cleanliness by purposefully leaving things a mess.

Apparently, seeing contact solution/toothpaste/face soap caps all over the counter is enough to put him over the edge. I love it.

The main reason I wrote about Jacob this week is because he just nailed the character of LaFou in the high school?s production of ?Beauty and the Beast.? I am a longtime fan of Disney movies, slapstick humor, and my brother?so the combination of the three made for an awesome evening.

Jacob and I by no means get along all the time, but knowing that he is around and ready to make jokes, watch silly movies, and have long talks with me makes coming home one of the best parts of my life.

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