I'm trying to avoid the more maudlin aspects of life in my column. I promise. No one wants me to get back to writing about TV -- the good, the bad and the ho-hum -- more than me.
It's just that I've been distracted. Mother's Day. Father's Day. And for my latest diversion, well, my little brother is getting married next week, so you'll have to indulge me, just once more.
Reading that last sentence, I realize there's a slight misstatement in it. I meant to say that my youngest brother is getting married next week. Not little. Tim hasn't been little for a long time. He was "husky" -- the boys' clothing size assigned to the doughier young males -- for most of his childhood, then sometime during his junior year of high school, the dough just sort of disappeared. I can still remember being shocked seeing him at a holiday gathering around that time; my siblings came in all shapes and sizes, but none of them had resembled brick walls.
Add to that my incredulity at the fact that he is now 21 years of age. How's that possible?
He's supposed to still be 4. Or 9. Or even 15. Anything but 21.
Plus he's successful in his working life. Most people I've known (including yours truly) are still flopping about at that age, unsure of their path, if they even have a clue about what path they're traveling. Not Tim. He's employed -- in a job that requires maturity, integrity, intelligence and a tremendous amount of responsibility -- and flourishing.
And to top it all off, the kid's getting married.
Not that I'm against it. His bride-to-be is a lovely young woman: sweet, smart, kind. Tim couldn't possibly have found a better person with whom to share his life. (And no, I'm not just saying nice things because I work with her mother.)
My youngest brother is on his way in life, and I couldn't be prouder of that.
But I can't help looking back on his younger years. Tim's the biggest (and softest) hearted of all of my siblings, and he always has been. It wasn't a rare experience to get an affectionate hug from him. Whether your mood was sour or sweet, it was a mood-lifter. He was also particularly good at sitting with you when you were down, and staying until you were OK. (Still is, by the way.)
Young children are drawn to him, and always have been. No wonder, since he's warm and kind to them, as well as playful and unusually attentive. (It's no surprise that he draws a crowd among the nieces and nephews, especially considering that when he was in high school, his visits to the nearby elementary school building were welcomed.)
Tim also has a tremendous work ethic. It helps that he's organized and focused -- when you put him to a task, he will accomplish it. And usually, he'll do it with a smile on his face.
Of course, Tim's not perfect. He is, indeed, the first one to cop to the fact that he has his own personality flaws and quirks to bear. But I wouldn't trade him for the world; neither would anyone else, I think.
While I will miss the boy I knew, I look forward to knowing Tim as the man he is rapidly becoming. I think -- no, I know -- he will be a fine husband and father, a loyal friend, a hard-working employee (and perhaps one day, employer).
Maybe I'm biased. I have known him all his life.