Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Being Looked Up Too...

We all have people we look up too. Role models, mentors, leaders, etc. Oh how these people mean so much to us and our life wouldn’t feel complete without them. Oh how we long to be like those people. We all dream to one day be able to be a role model to someone else; to mean so much in someone else’s life. I often think to myself how much I would love to one day be considered the example and person of respect that I view my current role models as; to actually think someone “looks up to me.” Gosh, what a feeling I’ve always thought that would be!

So I’ve recently discovered it had finally happened to me. Maybe not in the sense that I am looked to for wisdom or even held up out of respect, but I’ve found I’m someone that someone looks up too! And I can honestly say this is one of the coolest feelings in the world!

You might have heard me talk before about my cousin (or “brother” as I sometimes refer to him) Brandon. He is my aunt’s middle child and he is 12 (almost 13) years old. I’ll admit, she has two AMAZING young boys, and actually, two summers ago it seemed that Preston (her other son who is 11) and I had bonded more than me and Brandon, but this summer there is no denying it, Brandon and I became the buddies!

I love this kid, I gotta say! I have so much fun just hanging out with him too! I mean just the other night I wrestled (and I’m not talkin’ girlie play…I’m mean straight out, wrap your arms around each other and throw each other on the bed and then sit on them till you pin them wrestling!) with Brandon in my bedroom for like 20 minutes! It was a riot! It reminded me of how I would wrestle with Jeremy when we were younger kids.

Then tonight, he came in my room and was asking me about my paper I’d been working the last few days on (the one I have been writing on Charles Trevathan) and we got talking about the paper and I was showing him parts of it, and then I got showing him other things about Charles and we literally talked about Charles (who he has obviously never met) for like 30 minutes. He would have me read him the article I wrote in the Optimist about him, and then have me read him the letters of recommendation Charles wrote for me. I’ll tell you what, for having never met the man, he seemed like he was so interested and for me to get to just talk about someone who meant so much to me to him was such a blessing for me!

So I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for doing things for Brandon because it means so much to me that I’ve learned that he looks up to me as he does. Like tonight I went up to the store to get him some peaches to eat since he has been sick and throwing up the last two days (yes, peaches work…trust me, it is an old home remedy from the Smith household!).

Then there was last week when his mom came home and after a long day at work she wasn’t in a good mood at ALL and was yelling at the boys to do their homework and she had Brandon in tears on his bed (which is NOT normal for him, he NEVER cries). I felt really bad, and while I had a ton of homework myself that night, I couldn’t stand the fact that he was getting yelled at and not helped with his homework. So I went up to his room and starting doing what I do best with him: making him laugh! And I had him wiping away his tears in only a matter of time and the next thing you knew, he was in my room and we did his entire science report together! So then two nights ago he had to make a poster for the science experiment and I took him to Walmart and we got all the stuff and we made the daw-gone COOLEST display for an experiment I’ve ever seen! (totally impressed my aunt and uncle when they got home!)

And I’ll tell you one thing. I’ve always found my sense of humor as a tool to get people to like me (I mean heck, it ain’t like I have much to offer), but with Brandon, I’ve never seen someone that thinks I’m as incredibly funny as he does (and don’t think that doesn’t inflate my head! HA!) This kid seriously tells me “Oh my gosh, Kimberly. How did you get so funny!” like honestly once a week. The rest of the time he is laughing too hard to talk to say it! I can always count on one thing with him, if I need to make him laugh in a situation, it isn’t too hard!

It’s funny though how I can relate and “get to” Brandon more than even his family can. And I’m not just saying this, my aunt admits it ALL the time. Just the other night she was like, “will you tell the boys to wear their thermal underwear under their jeans to the football game because it will be cold. You know they listen to you better than me.” While this very well might be true, I take it as quite a compliment.

Then there was the night I was at Brandon’s football game and I was in the stands sitting with his mom, his dad (my aunt’s ex-husband), and Preston. Preston had done to get some candy at the concession stand and my aunt turned around to her Ex and goes, “Sometimes I wonder if Ashley (her oldest kid) gets jealous of Kimberly because she has such a good relationship with the boys.” And her Ex just laughed and goes, “You wonder!? I’m sure she does.”

And then many times my aunt will jokingly (but I know deep down it bothers her) say to me, “Gosh, they boys don’t even run up to hug me when I come home, like they do you!” That one does make me feel bad though, because it is true. The boys will come in and go, “SISTER!!!” and come running to me and give me a hug…LOL! It just makes me smile! HA!

It’s even funny how I’ve influenced Brandon’s eating habits! LOL. All of my aunt’s kids are picky eaters, but Brandon is probably the least picky, and he has gotten even less picky because he sees how I ain’t picky at all. It is funny to see that he will try things just because I eat it. And I can’t tell you how cool I feel that I’ve gotten him to practically stop drinking soda and pretty much only drink lemonade like me! HA!

I don’t know a lot, but I can tell you that the feeling of making a difference in a kids life is SOOOO cool!

But I think I felt the best when he told me a few weeks back something about college. Now let me tell you, Preston is a die-hard Aggie fan and wants to go to A&M. But Brandon is a die-hard Longhorns fan and wants to go to UT. And when I say die-hard, I mean they each have like 10 different ball caps for their respective teams. So anyways, not to long ago, one night in my room Brandon and I were talking and he said, “I was thinking and if I don’t get to go to UT, I think ACU is my second choice.” Oh my gosh! I about died (but I of course kept my cool with him in here). Before they met me, those boys knew nothing about ACU, so to hear him say that was like the coolest thing in the world to me, especially since I hold ACU in like the highest regard in the world for the blessings I’ve been blessed with from there.

So, while I might still have several more years before I will be old enough, wise enough, experienced in life enough, and “cool” enough to MAYBE have “adults” look up to me, I can tell you the influence of a kid lookin’ up to you is powerful enough for me!

And gosh, if one day I’m ever blessed enough to have a kiddo (or maybe two) myself, I could only hope I could have a relationship with them as I do with Brandon!

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