Next in our sibling series is my 22-year-old brother, Austin.
Austin, circa 2006. His hair is much longer now, he has a beard, and he’s even skinnier than in this pic. 🙂
Austin is the aforementioned Kendal’s full-blood brother, the first child of our mom’s second marriage, so the half-brother of our older sister, Tana, and me. He was born a few months before I turned six. I was so excited to have a brother, but unfortunately we spent most of our lives not getting along. Into my adulthood we had troubles (especially when he refused to cut his hair for my wedding and all of my pictures of him from that day commemorate a big, blonde afro poof of curls). But now that we’re both adults, we have found some common ground and get along fairly well, even if we don’t always see eye-to-eye.
Austin is a very disciplined guy. He wanted to be a mechanic, so he set his mind to it and went to school to learn the trade. He works at a local military base as an aircraft mechanic, a job often reserved for retirees who have done the job for a military career plus as a civilian after retirement. He is a vegan, which makes me more disciplined just thinking about it. (Vegans don’t eat any animal products at all – no meat, dairy, eggs, anything that came from an animal, in case you didn’t know.) He has very strict opinions about life in general, and will argue his side until he’s blue in the face. He drives us all crazy sometimes with his debates and arguing, but we love him for it, too. He’s got tattoos and piercings and he’s full of life. He’s got good friends who he would stand behind against all odds and outside influences. He loves to have fun, but he gets to work on time and works hard every day. He loves his dog more than any other animal or human on earth. He supported our mom with love and emotional support when our baby died and we were in Japan. He mourned our daughter, his niece, with us, and was so very excited to find out that I was pregnant again, and with another girl. He loves with condition when he feels conditions are necessary, but with full abandon when he feels you are worthy. He’s inspiring, he gives good hugs, he has a great smile and laugh, and he, though usually late, likes to spend time with the family.
I love my brother, who I still (much to his chagrin) call Bubby in his adulthood. He’ll always be Bubby, my first brother, the boy who Tana and I tortured with baby (girl) doll clothes when he was a kid and whose childhood Garth Brooks obsession I will always take every chance to share with his friends and girlfriends. I have lots of fond memories of our childhood together, even though the majority of the time we didn’t get along. I love my Bubby, and I’m so glad to be his family.