Hey there everybody!
So I'm avoiding sleeping, milking the last part of my birthday (imported lemonade? yesplease.), and waiting to talk to Pat when he's off work ... so I thought, as thus, I'd grace your lovely selves with my lovely self.
My little brother Benjamin, Ben ya min, Ben Jammin ... or Benny boo boo boo boo boo (if you'd like) is getting old.
He graduates high school (I just wrote college three times...but it's definitely high school) this weekend.
I'm so sad I'm missing it, but I'm so proud of him. He's headed off to BYU and he's gonna rock the socks off of CougarTown. If any freshman was ever gonna give good ole Provo a run for its money, that frosh would be my little brother. He's go go go all the time (and sleep sleep sleep the rest).
To honor this momentous moment (and because I can't tell these stories to his friends at his graduation party) I'll tell you some of my favorite Ben moments.
When Ben was little he went through a chicken phase. Not like nuggets (although there was one of those, too), not like the daredevil game ... but as in inserting it in all manner of phrases. Ben, Ben chicken hen. Brado, Brado chicken faydo. Siovhan, Siovhan chicken non. And it wasn't just family names. It was EVERYTHING. Aladdin, Aladdin chicken fadden. School, school chicken pool. So funny to hear him walking around saying that.
Tiny Ben (like 3 or 4) would.not.wear.pants. That little kid walked around in Star Wars and Power Ranger themed tighty whiteys more than any little kid I've ever seen. Mom would get him dressed in the morning and then like 20 minutes later -- yep, there's Ben -- pantsless.
Speaking of Star Wars, Ben was an addict. He knew everyone's name, rank, role, etc. He had a model Death Star, Alliance war craft, X fighters all of it. He wanted to be Han Solo so bad.
Ben and Braden have always been the best of friends and the worst of enemies. But as we got older their bonds became so much stronger. It's been so fun to watch the dynamic change from one of competition to one of friendship. (Okay, so that one's not funny...but it's still true.) I know Braden would love to be there to see Ben graduate.
Ben and I have always had a really buddy-buddy relationship. When I'd come home from college Ben would ask to run every errand with me and ask for some specific Siovhan time. We'd talk about music, girls, high school, friends, etc. He'd ask to sit by me on car trips (it sometimes became a battle between him and Mikaela), buy me stuff, and always sent me a ridiculous birthday, valentine, christmas, etc. card.
Ben's the only one of us to spend our entire education (minus 2.5 months) in our small town. As such he's the only one that even remotely resembles a townie. This makes me laugh so hard because Ben has always been fiercely independent -- verging, at times, on anti-establishment. But our little Ben has fallen in love with [insert small town name here]. I also think he'll be the only one to consciously miss the town itself, and not just miss our family.
Ben is quite the little instigator. A couple of years ago when we went to Quebec for family vacation we spent some of our time camping. One night laying there I could hear a little creaky noise, Braden snort snore, and then Ben snicker. I still don't know what was going on in that tent, but all of a sudden I heard Braden suddenly awake and go "what is that?!" and Ben laugh hysterically. This is so very Ben.
Ben and his friends are the epitome of bromance. They rival Barney, Marshall and Ted on How I Met Your Mother or Chandler and Joey on Friends. They have mandates. Really.
Ben had such a sarcastic and dry sense of humor (very akin to my dad). He also loves good TV. Once, Ben and I were actually banned from quoting the Office because my Dad got so fed up with how funny we thought it was. He made us pay a dollar if either of us quoted it -- and I think we shelled out a pretty penny that time. At one point Ben even walked over to my dad, handed him two dollars, and looked at me and went, "bleh bleh bleh, little comment." I laughed so hard as he pulled one of the dollars from Dad's hand and said, "She only needed one to nearly pee her pants. I'm good."
Ben was sometimes a lot like my pet. That poor kid let me do everything to him. From mess with his hair, to show him how cool guys really dress, to recommending new music and books ... I would show Ben all kinds of weird stuff. Eventually he formed a lot of his own opinions, and our tastes became a little different, but we still share recommendations for books, movies, tv, music, all of it.
I love you, Ben and I'm really proud of all you've been able to accomplish.
As a token of your new found smarts I have two things to say:
"Why, anybody can have a brain. That's a very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the Earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain. Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven't got: a diploma."
--The Wizard of Oz