Levi is 21.
His birthday was yesterday.
His 'Baby's First Christmas' ornaments have an odd-numbered year on them, while the rest of ours our even-numbered.
He lives in a different time zone from the rest of the family.
And he's a boy!
The boy business was such a shock for us. I'm told it wasn't a surprise to Mom.
I speak for my sisters too when I say that we were quite surprised.
What do you do with a brother?
And that name!
It's an odd name to put on a newborn.
But while Mom was pregnant, Laine supposedly went up to my parents and said "No one has my numbers," but she meant initials and apparently she meant for them to do something about that. (I have Dad's initials and Sara has Mom's.)
So the L is a little bit for Laine, and the Alton is for Dad's favorite cousin, who died far too young.
That middle name won Levi tons of points with Dad's aunt, who referred to him as "Fatso" and when he stopped being fat, she switched to "Dennis the Menace" because of his cowlicks.
He likes it because it's a family name.
It's a good name. A sturdy and trustworthy and unique-yet-traditional name.
He's grown into it.
He's hasn't been fat in nearly two decades.
He's buzzed off his cowlicks.
He's grown a goatee.
He no longer startles us.
He's sturdy and trustworthy and unique-yet-traditional.
He cracks me up. He has odd ideas, and he's very careful about picking out gifts and birthday cards and now I'm going to tell you a funny story about that because I've been waiting for a good time to do so:
A few months ago we were talking on the phone and I was bemoaning the tedium of sweeping junk into a dustpan and how we needed a dust buster but hadn't bought one yet and he cut me off. "Jen? Jen! Okay, don't.buy.a.dust buster. I will buy you one for your birthday present. That's what I'm going to do. Do you think you can wait that long?"
He sounded like a knight in Carhartts making a grand pronouncement.
Which is exactly what it felt like. My hero, swooping in from North Carolina to save me from the dreaded dustline.
So when Levi came in for Thanksgiving, we headed out to Home Depot so I could pick out (!!!) my present. Unfortunately, there was a lot of traffic and sunlight and stoplights and I lack depth perception and blahblahblah and we wound up parking in the wrong parking lot.
Stay with me.
So we just intended to jump over this ditch area to get to Home Depot.
It was a little muddier than we anticipated.
Levi came out okay.
I did not.
So we squished our way through Home Depot, and were surprised to find their selection lacking.
Since we were parked in the Best Buy parking lot, we squished over there and I found the dust buster of my dreams.
And then he gave me my dust buster for my birthday.
Best present ever.
Best brother ever.
I should also point out that he's super-prepared.
And has longer legs.
Must be nice.
Happy birthday, Levi!