My eleven-year-old brother Ian rushes into my room. He is sporting his North face jacket, his skinny jeans and his gray vans. His fiery orange hair is spiked to perfection, and I can faintly smell his Old Spice body spray and deodorant.
“Kyra! I had the worst dream last night!” He looks at me earnestly with his deep blue eyes. “People were throwing stuff at me because my brands were clashing! I was wearing an Adidas shirt and Nike shorts.Together. IN PUBLIC. It was horrible!”
This outburst is not an uncommon one. In stark contrast to my 13-year-old brother Noah, Ian is a complete fashionista. If you asked him, he would blame his style sense on me because I used to dress him up like the sister I always wanted. It is important to note, however, that I stopped putting dresses on him when he was two, but he continued to put on said dresses until my parents made him stop at age five. His favorite colors used to be sparkly pink and sparkly red. I never questioned his sexuality, however, because he’s never not had a girlfriend. Actually, as I type this, he is pestering me to get off the computer so he can meet up with his latest lady friend for their date on Club Penguin. We’ve decided he’s probably a metrosexual, but I will love him no matter what he decides in the future.
When he was two, Ian was invited to an all six-year-old girl birthday party at which the party-goers debated over who was “Ian’s special sweetie.” When he goes to summer camps, he comes home complaining about herds of females following him around. Right now, he is flirting with three different classmates, but his relationships are not exclusive because he is also interested in girls he meets at church and on vacation.
Ian is all the drama most families have in total, but packaged into one ginger-headed 11-year-old. Before he was born, Noah and I kept to ourselves. I played with my toys in my room and Noah played with his toys in his room. We came together a few times a day for for polite conversation at mealtimes. Ian changed all of that.
I remember a time, not too long ago, when my parents would punish Noah by making him play with Ian for a set period of time. Ian can’t be alone. He craves and demands constant attention. When I was younger, this got on my nerves. It still gets on Noah’s nerves, but I now find it endearing.
Ian copies my every move. He idolizes me and wants to spend time with me. He cries almost monthly because he doesn’t want me to go away to college and leave him. He’ll come into my room, hop on my bed and ask me about my day. He’ll make me a smoothie and give it to me as a surprise for breakfast. He asks me about my plans for the future, and, the more we talk, the more I find many of his goals emulate my own.
Ian recently got into Mensa. His teacher regularly comments on his papers that he “had the best answers” or the “top grade” in the class. He just took first in a county-wide math competition. He wins 10k races against kids who are years older than him. He is an incredible young man, and I could not be more proud of him. I am so glad he is in my life, and I get all excited and bubbly inside when I think about getting to watch him accomplish impressive things in the future. For now, though, he’s just my dorky little charmed genius metrosexual brother.