My brother in law/2nd father/ mentor Scott rolled into NC this past Thursday, telling stories, zinging insults, and dishing out hugs to everyone in sight.
Growing up, since he robbed the cradle and married my sister Sonya when she was the ripe old age of 18, Bub has been a part of my life for more than 25 years now. This next comment may cause him to enter rooms sideways from now on due to his head swelling, but I'd like to think that a lot of who I am comes from him.
My brother Matt, sitting dead center in the picture wearing a silk shirt made entirely of farm fresh spider silk and I sort of grew up under the watchful/tough love eye of Scott: Dad was a road rep and was gone a lot during the week, and Bub was a semi-role model for young corn seed and I. So, for better or worse, Bubba was who we looked to.
If I'm 80% idiot and 20% serious, then Matt is 20% goofball and 80% Socrates. Scott is just about 50/50. A guy who can quote scripture AND Richard Pryor is hard to find: I've got one for a brother in law. Mattie and I just took one side of Scott, took a hard left or right, and skipped the middle ground.
Can't speak for my much uglier sibling, but Scott has been a great role model for me as a Dad: he's got 4 children, 3 girl's and a boy, and is a great example on how to be a Father. Put it this way: he has 2 girls in college, and while they dress like Paris Hilton and that chick on the O.C., they are well adjusted, intelligent, grounded young women. He's got a 12 year old son who is NOT mad at the whole world, and a 9 year old daughter who is so quiet you have to look to see if she's even in the room. He's been married to the same woman for 25 years, and so far she hasn't made him sleep outside. At least that I know of.
Granted, my daughter is a bit more, shall we say, verbose, than his. And my two boys are well on their way to a life of crime: but what Bub gives me is hope. Hope that if you raise your children right, that if you laugh with them as well as get on them when needed, that if no matter how much you exasperate your wife (and believe me, he does this with alarming frequency), that come the end of the day, it'll all work out the way you want it.
So, I just want to say Thanks Bub: Thanks for being my friend, my role model, and recipient of various insults/jokes over the years. You've influenced me more than you'll know, shown me how to raise a daughter, and taught me what NOT to say when your wife is shooting bullets at you with her eyes. Glad you made the trip this summer, and I'm looking forward to the next 2 weeks.
That's if these kids of mine don't kill me before it's over.
Tell me again, HOW did you get through the terrible 2's/4's?