For the first 4 years of my life, it was all pink and purple, dolls and lace, giggles and dress ups with my sister Rachel and me. Then, it happened. A creature known as a boy appeared in our family. 4 years later, another one. The sweet scent of Cabbage Patch dolls was replaced with that stinky little boy smell that is best described as part puppy dog and part wind. They wanted to throw the cat instead of pet it. They wanted to crash things, throw things, and expel gas in odors that should not come out of a human, without even excusing themselves. For better or worse, things definitely changed.
Ryptser, AKA Ryan, was the first one to come along. He drove me insane! My buttons, he found quickly, and he played wack-a-mole with them on a regular basis! I referred to him as the buggliest bug. Oh, he was cute, and bright-eyed, and the most precocious little boy you have ever met, but that didn’t win me over. I just wanted him to stop it. You name it, I wanted him to stop doing it.
Monster, AKA Sean, was one spoiled little toad. He was teeny tiny for so long, because he was premature, so it made him easy to spoil. Rachel fawned over him, which made me the mean sister. I didn’t even have to do much to be mean, but I was not as doting as Rachel was. He swore I hated him for years because he was a skater. I just kind of didn’t get it…
Eventually, with both of them, I had a tipping point. With Ryan, it came while I was away at college. I came home one Friday afternoon, and was the only one home. He had a terrible day at school with a coaching situation, and literally fell apart as he walked in the door, and I was the one there to help him through it. It was a growing up experience for him, and I think he finally saw me as a friend and not as one who must be pestered. With Sean, I believe it was when I drew a picture of him that he decided that I didn’t really hate him. I loved to sketch people when I was younger, but my subjects were typically celebrities or other pictures I found interesting. He would beg me to draw him, so one day, I did. I didn’t know it would be that easy to show him that I liked him.
As they have grown up, I consider myself lucky to have such great friends in my family. Ryan and I both had a year of crossing bridges we never thought we would cross. The amount of time I spent on the phone with him in 2013 probably far exceeds the total time spent every year before that combined. We cried together, and expressed our frustrations with our different situations together. It was hard when for a brief moment, I saw his eternal optimism waiver around this time last year. However, it was gone for such a brief moment before it came back brighter than ever. I love scheming with him, too, because while we are both very upfront, full disclosure type of people, we do like to come up with little side agendas to make our live’s interesting. Sean is a perfectionist and artist, and I love seeing what he comes up with. Our interests are very similar, but his talents exceed mine. I love watching an idea transform with him. Since he is the youngest, he has many of us to tell him what to do. I enjoy that I am the 4th “parent” in line to my dad, mom, and sister, so I get to be the one who is more just a sounding board for his ideas instead of the one telling him what to do. By the time it gets to me, I simply fill in the little holes, and he can run with his idea. He’s still asserting his independence a bit, so I don’t hear from his as often as I would like, but I respect the space he needs to figure things out.
They drive me batty, but they are mine, and I will fiercely defend them if ever I need to. Everyone knows to watch out, if you upset the crazy CoCo sister. So here’s my song to you, my little toots! Disregard the military-themed video that makes me cry, and listen to the words (which Sean will appreciate more) and a dance break in the middle (for Ryan). Love you fo-evew and evew!