Well, I've already written something on my older brothers, so now I'll attempt a post on my younger brothers. Each of them is very special to me, and communicates and interacts with me in very different and interesting ways, and each one of them is teaching me each day, and helping me to grow.
Jedidiah is almost 13. Wow. We're about to add a fifth teenager to the house! That's a little scary. I often forget that he is that old, because in some ways, he seems way younger. He looks about 10, and is a very innocent 12 year old. But in many other ways he is mature far beyond his years.
When we were little, Jed (as he is often called) was one of my closest friends. I was, or pretended to be, his second mother. We shared a bedroom. If I got into trouble, he was right beside me to get in trouble with me. When I decided to get up at 3:00 one morning and set the table for breakfast, he was right there to do it with me. Every time we played a game outside, he was right there from the planning stage of the story, to the acting out of it. He was my shadow, and though he sometimes got bossed more than he deserved, he was my best friend.
As we got older, it was not quite as 'cool' as it once was to be best friends with your big sister. Jed more and more wanted to play with Zachariah instead of me. I also went through the stage of being dissatisfied with just brothers to play with (my sister wasn't old enough to do much with me), and we weren't nearly as close for a time.
There are a lot of cool things about Jed. He has a better head for remembering facts than I do. He is way more of a science person than I am, and so he knows way more about animals and plants than I probably ever will. He is a LotR geek (in the best sense of the word), so he also knows way more about LotR than I do. And because he looks so much younger than he actually is, people are always super impressed by his quick mind and smart head. But all of this isn't necessarily the reasons I love Jed.
Our relationship has, in the last few years, grown closer, and is even much the same as it was when we were 2 and 4.
I love it when Jed and I share secrets- like buying crazy awesome christmas presents for everybody in the family. I love it when Jed goes running with me before the sun rises. I love it when he discusses Redwall and Lord of the Rings with me. I love it when Jed makes me laugh because of something hilarious he says. Jed is smart, he's cool, and he's lots of fun. And greatest of all, he loves God. His love for God is so great that it just overflows into his whole life. Jed is a great brother, and I love him.
Elijah is next. He is 11. Elijah and I were never really close friends in the same way Jed and I were. But we did share the month of May as our birthday month, and almost always celebrated our birthdays together.
Elijah and Jed are the closest of friends, even though when you look at them closely, their personalities aren't all that similar. Jed likes to read, while Elijah would probably cook, or play outside. Jed likes to read, while Elijah loves taking care of little kids, whether it's his siblings, or his cousins, or the kids from next door. (Jed likes to read, btw.)
Elijah has been on a lot of pretty restricted diets for the past several years, and through it all has been patient, and totally unafraid to try new and weird foods. He often makes the diets seem way easier than I'm sure they are, and talks about them as if it's as easy as cake (which, it's not, because most of the time he can't eat cake).
I would say that Elijah's greatest talent is taking care of little kids. He knows how to make them feel unintimidated by him, and knows how to get totally at their level and just be goofy with them. He's not really afraid of what other people think of him, and so is willing to do crazy things to make little kids laugh.
I love Elijah for his sweet singing voice, for the times when he looks at what I do and thinks I'm the greatest big sister in the world (which of course, is very undeserved on my part), for his crazy fun laugh that is so infectious, and for the simplistic yet very heartfelt way he prays and talks about God. He is an awesome little brother, and I love him.
Jeremiah is 8. He will be 9 in December. Jeremiah is quite an interesting little boy. He is incredibly smart and quick-witted, and also stubborn and headstrong. He is cool, collected, and is not easily impressed. He loves to draw, read, write, read, do any type of puzzle, read, and read. He reads a LOT.
Because Jeremiah and I are both terribly stubborn, we often clash. But when we're committed to working together, we have so much fun together. He loves doing crafty type things, or helping me cook, so he thinks it's the greatest thing ever to make mini loaves of bread with me to surprise everybody on Christmas morning. Or he loves it when I help him sew some article of clothing for his stuffed animals, or help him make somebody a birthday present.
What is interesting, and fun (most of the time), about Jeremiah, is that he interacts with me as though he is at exactly the same maturity level as I am. He treats me as though he is my equal, and as though he knows just as much as I do. :) Because of this, I sometimes forget when I'm interacting with him, that he is my little brother, and not just my friend.
The greatest thing about Jeremiah is his deep, though sometimes hidden, love for God. He doesn't often talk about how much he loves his heavenly Father, so it might be easy to assume that he doesn't think about it very much. But when you hear him pray, wow! That kid knows so much about God, and believes so much about God. He prays deep, profound prayers, and yet prayers that are obviously from the heart. He is smart, and yet God has kept in him a sweet, somewhat childlike love for God. May He always keep it so! Jeremiah is a very cool little brother, and I love him.
And last of my brothers, is Mattaniah. He is 4. The cutest and sweetest little 4 year old ever. Mattaniah and I are very good friends.
Matti is extremely loving, and is one of the only kids in our family to express his love with words at such a young age. He loves to run up to me, practically knock me over by tightly hugging my knees and say, "I love you, Londa!"
He loves to give slobbery kisses at night, and is convinced that he and I are going to get married when we grow up (he was rather disappointed when he learned that brothers and sisters aren't supposed to get married). Another thing he's been doing lately is coming up behind my mom and me when we're standing next to each other, putting his arms around both of us, and saying in a hilarious voice, "Hello, ladies. Where were we ladies?" (a quote from Ice Age. :) It's soo sweet!
But what I love best about Mattaniah is his love for God. He loves God and talks about God as if it were the most natural thing in the world for him. He often talks about how exciting it will be after he dies, because he'll be with Jesus! His favorite song to sing is 'Jesus Loves Me'. I got to teach Mattaniah in my sunday school class last year, and had so much fun watching him come out of his shell a little bit, and express his love for God there, once he lost his shyness enough to talk.
I have a special place in my heart for Mattaniah, because I took care of him so much when he was a baby. But I also love him because he is so good at just being a friend. He is willing to just sit with me and smile and snuggle with me. He is such a sweet little brother, and I love him.
And that's the end of them. God has given me so much, and I know I don't thank Him enough for all these amazing gifts! Next I'll have to tell you about my little sister. : )