So I have put off writing this post for almost a year. I literally could have shared most of these pictures at least nine months ago, but I haven't because every time I think about writing the post I get overwhelmed with the idea of putting into words how I feel about my baby brother being a senior in high school. Well, I guess I waited long enough that I don't have to, because he is no longer a senior in high school. He is a graduate....a soon-to-be college freshman. Now THAT I really can't handle. When did my youngest brother...my sweet, little, baby brother get so big, tall, and handsome? Just FYI...he is still as sweet now as he was when he was little...maybe even sweeter. :) But really...WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?
Most everyone who reads this blog (all ten or so of you :)) know Joe Henry
personally. I don't have to sit here and tell you how wonderful he is because YOU KNOW. But I'm going to anyways. Because I can. Because I'm his big sister and it is my job to love him, spoil him, brag about him, and yes...put him in his place whenever necessary. I was not quite nine years old when Joe Henry was born. I still remember being at gymnastics class when my mom's friend came to pick us up and told me I had a new baby brother! My folks never found out genders with any of us...so I can remember being so excited and trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I now had TWO baby brothers. Then, when we got to go up to the hospital that night to meet him....it was like suddenly I couldn't remember life BEFORE two baby brothers. Betsy and I were meant to be big sisters to these little boys....the four of us were meant to be siblings and ultimately, best friends. My mom always tells people she wanted six kids and my dad wanted two so they compromised at four. While I think that is fun (and maybe there is a tiny bit of truth to it) I think the real reason they stopped at four was because we were complete. And we all knew it. Joe Henry was our final little puzzle piece. Even now....18.5 years later, you will find hardly any pictures of the family around the house that were taken in the years between Ted and Joe. There are pictures of just the girls, pictures of just the boys, pictures of just my folks....but I don't think we have a single picture framed in the house of Mom, Dad, myself, Betsy, and Ted. Because that would be just wrong. Why hang an incomplete family picture?
Anyways, I digress. Back to Joe. As you have seen on the blog over the year, he had a great senior year. From homecoming, to football, basketball, and ultimately prom...he had a wonderful year with wonderful friends and I couldn't be more proud. Joe Henry...I'm so sorry it took me so long to put these pictures up. I know whenever I posted your friends pictures you would joke about me skipping yours, but I just couldn't do it. I didn't know how to write about how proud I am of you. I didn't think I could put into words how I can't get over how nice you are to everyone (except when we are talking while you are trying to watch a movie....not so nice then)....how you are so smart and motivated....how when you put your mind to something you go above and beyond (still can't wait to see the baby's toy chest!). You are so much more responsibly minded than I was at your age...you think about the future all the time. You don't get caught up in the dramas/highs/lows most kids your age do, you stay above it all....how I wish I had that kind of foresight when I was 18. I am so proud of the man you have become and are still becoming every day. For years I described you to people as my little buddy. The little boy who would tag along to my friends' pool parties, homecoming skit practices, prom decorating, and basically any event you wanted to because "you asked mom and she said I had to take you." While there may have been times I fought it, I look back and am so glad you were along for the ride with me. :)
I am so excited for my baby to meet his or her Uncle Joe. You will be such a great role model and friend to this baby and I just know you will be one of the greatest uncles ever! I love you so, SO much, Jujubee! You are not only my littlest brother, but one of my best friends. Sorry it took so long to put your pictures up...but better late than never, right?!
Goofy brother. :)
Love you, baby beans!