I have. In fact, I hear it at least once every summer. The giggles get deeper and hence more endearing every year.
Earlier this summer, my brother’s two best friends drove in from Missouri for a visit.
And it was awesome.
I always love when Caleb and Zachary come to visit, because no matter how old they are, it’s the same every year.
Both boys yell “Philip!” and Philip laughs self-consciously and says “Hey!”
And then they bro-hug and it’s all good.
We haven’t lived in Missouri for six years and yet these three boys are still just as close as they were when none of us were teenagers and they were all shorter or just as tall as me.
Now we live in Arkansas, Caleb has finished his first year of college, Zachary is in public school, Philip is playing basketball, and I haven’t been taller than any of them in like four years.
They sat in the den one afternoon, playing Tanks. Zachary wasn’t playing at one point and would periodically call out something like, “Philip… that was pathetic” or, “Shoot him!”.
And Philip would laugh that laugh that makes his face get all red and his hands shake and his tank would get shot because he was laughing so hard.
I was standing in the kitchen, listening and grinning and laughing at them.
Because when three boys all over the age of sixteen and all of whom have voices just as low if not lower than my dad’s start giggling at each other?
That’s when I know that I have an amazing life. That’s when I know my brother has amazing friends.
These boys have never ignored him, never forgotten him, and never passed up a chance to see him.
Seeing Philip happy- the kind of happy Caleb and Zachary make him- that just makes any room re-arranging, any noise, any zoned-out-ness, it makes it all worth it.
So thanks guys. Thank you for giving my brother such a wonderful gift, and giving his older sister the gift of seeing him so happy and having so much fun.
It’s been hard for him, you know. Living here. But when you guys come up in the summers, even just for a few days, you make it easier. You make him laugh and let him be comfortable and just let him be him.
Thank you for that.