I was four. I was reading a book with my grandma. My mom and dad had just left for the hospital and I was so mad they didn’t take me along. So I sat there impatiently, eating fruit snacks. The taste of fruity goodness filled my mouth and covered my taste buds. I was looking at the pictures in the book as grandma narrated them.
My grandma looked at me, “Bryn they should be calling any time now.”
I was beginning to fall asleep.
For the next hour, as I napped, my head filled with dreams. My dreams, played out all the possibilities for the rest of my life depending on my parents call. If it was a baby brother, I would have an enemy. If it was a baby sister, I would have a new best friend. The possibilities were endless. I woke up and heard the phone ring. My whole future depended on this call.
Grandma answered, “Hello.”
Grandma hung up the phone.
She looked at me, she was excited, “you have a new baby brother!”
I looked at her and said, “oh brother.”
Not to be dramatic, but the rest of my life was going to be terrible. He was the new baby boy of the family, everyone was going to love him. I was over and done with, the whole family was going to forget about me forever. In with the new and out with the old.
My new companion had been around for a couple months. He was wearing my mom and dad out, I think he woke them up a lot at night. Like, okay, you have your need to eat, but we have our need to sleep. Anyway, my mom told me that she and dad were going out and my aunt and uncle were coming over to watch Aivan & I. All was going well until Aivan needed his diaper changed. I showed my aunt the changing table and she laid him down. Luckily, for all of us, he only peed. My aunt took his diaper off and as she was grabbing another one, I swear I saw this evil look as Aivan peed on the ceiling. It just went straight up and onto the ceiling. He just peed, how was he doing this? If he was going to be a little trickster like this, maybe we would get along.
One night mom was feeding Aivan and he started to get sick. Mom and dad took him to the doctor. We were told that he had severe allergies to; milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, mustard, and shellfish. How was he ever going to have a good breakfast?
It was his first birthday. He had so many presents, I didn’t understand, he only focused on one toy half the time anyway. Everyone thought it was adorable how he made a mess with his cake. It was all over him, the floor, the chair, and actually, it was everywhere. I was disgusted.
It was my fifth birthday. I didn’t throw cake all over the floor, so everyone was unimpressed. I got lots of gifts and Aivan tried to steal all of them, of course, everyone thought that was cute. “Look, Bryn, he wants to play with your new Barbie doll” I heard someone say. Yes, what a cute little Barbie bandit, this is hysterical.
For two years, I went to school every day and Aivan got to stay home with mom. No wonder he was her favorite.
He started preschool and mom went back to work. I was in first grade, so every day once we got off the bus, I had to make sure Aivan made it to preschool. I was jealous, preschool still looked fun, and this first-grade stuff was starting to get hard. After school, I picked him up, we got on the bus, and rode home together.
As we went to school together, I realized I was always there looking out for him, especially since he has his allergies. I had become pretty good at reading food ingredient labels.
I was 8, he was four. I had just gotten my first big electronic, a Nintendo DS. This was my new favorite thing in the world, I could play so many games on it. And it was my favorite color at the time, pink. Aivan also loved my DS and my mom made me share it with him whenever he wanted to play. I didn’t think that was fair since it was mine.
I was 10, he was 6. Aivan got a Nintendo DS for his birthday. I was so mad, I had to wait until I was older to get mine. Actually, I didn’t even have one anymore because Aivan stepped on it and broke the screen. But something made up for the loss of my DS, I was double digits in age, so I got to get my first pet. I got a little grey and white hamster and named him Little Buddy.
Little Buddy was my best buddy. Aivan also thought that he was his. Of course, my mom made me let Aivan give him snacks and hold him. Sometimes I just wish my thing, could just be my thing.
I had had Little Buddy for a year now, and despite the myth of hamsters don’t live very long, Little Buddy was still going strong. Aivan wanted a hamster, so guess what he got for his seventh birthday? He named his Seven since he was seven when he got him. I had to wait until I hit the big double digits until I could get a pet, and Aivan just got one right whenever he wanted. I was starting to get tired of him getting everything way before I was allowed to.
When Aivan was eight I accidentally fed him ice cream he was allergic to. There was no need for his EpiPen, some Benedryll was all he needed. When Aivan was nine, I accidentally put my regular milk in his place at the dinner table, when he could only strictly drink soy milk due to his milk allergy. There was no need for an EpiPen, Benedryll was all he needed.
I remember when Aivan turned ten because it was his golden birthday. His hamster was dead by now, mine was too. Aivan’s hamster was the meanest thing. Anyway, since it was his golden birthday, he got everything he wanted, of course.
By age eleven, Aivan had outgrown his milk, egg, and shellfish allergy. He was still allergic to peanuts and mustard. At age twelve, he went for testing to see if he had outgrown his peanut allergy. His intolerance for it was still too high to do a test.
At age thirteen he had his first real allergic reaction. He had been having shin splints from basketball practice and wanted to take some Tylenol to ease the pain before his game. He drank out of friend’s water bottle out of convenience, earlier his friend ate something with peanut butter. Aivan had an allergic reaction and needed his EpiPen for the first time. He went to the hospital and was able to come later that night.
Aivan has fully recovered from his allergic reaction and doesn’t plan to have one again. In a few days, my little brother is going to be fourteen. In these fourteen years, Aivan has become not only my brother but one of my best friends. I still love to take naps, and as I nap, my dreams are still sometimes filled with more possibilities of what Aivan and I may encounter next.