Today, Brother Dear graduates from law school.  Maybe because graduating from law school was for me much more of a “commencement” than any other graduation, I can’t help but think that he is really at the beginning of a completely new phase in his life.  Up until this point, he is brother, son, grandson, brother-in-law, nephew, cousin, archaeologist/anthropologist, woodworker, tinker-er, computer programmer, road tripper, Glacier devotee, cook, chef, reader, writer, music lover … and after today, he will also be lawyer, holding the figurative keys to the courthouse, the power to help people, if he passes the bar and chooses to practice.

If you read this blog regularly, then you know that  I am devoted to Brother Dear, that perhaps we enjoy a closer relationship than a typical brother and sister.

I want y’all to know that it was not always so, that as kids Brother Dear and I were just close enough in age to enjoy making life miserable for one another.  I recall our childhood as the battle for our youngest brother Howard’s affection – it is always 2 v 1 when there are 3.  But I guarantee you that Brother Dear remembers our childhood in a different way.  Because he is the much put upon Middle Child, even if he agreed with my statement, he could never admit this to me.

After Howard died, Brother Dear forgave me the D battery I threw at his head (he claims he still has a lump), the multiple times I ran over him with the go cart, and the vicious temper I exercised on him when we were in high school, among other transgressions.  And I forgave him for all of his sins, too numerous to mention on this blog, in my Magnanimous Big Sister way.  I’m sorry.  I just can’t resist.  In some ways, I think that despite maturity, counseling, and exhaustion, siblings always react in the same basic ways to each other as they did at 10.

But you can see that we got past all of that, as I hope all siblings can, eventually.  If you have a sibling, then I don’t think anyone else can truly discuss with you why you are the way you are, as an adult.  That other witness to your childhood can cross examine you in ways that are cruel and necessary.  Though I try to keep my bossy ways centered on Honeydew, Brother Dear, and my clients, I have been known to lecture a stranger I get to talking to in an airport about forgiving his or her siblings for past transgressions, and reconnecting.  The sibling bond is an exalted one, for me, and I don’t think there are too many words that can’t be forgiven.  There are some, yes.  But not many.

At any rate.   I was talking about Brother Dear.  As the Classic Middle Child, he’s used to me pretending to focus on him but really focusing on my self.  So this blog won’t surprise him.  But today, as he graduates from the Charleston School of Law, I want to share with y’all some of the titles he’s acquired prior to “Esquire.”

Brother Dear as Fetus.  Mom as the prettiest pregnant woman ever.  Blackstone Farms, near Martinsville, Virginia.

Brother Dear in the beginning stages of his Fishing Obsession.  This photo was taken in the Wind River Range of Wyoming.

Brother Dear as Cook at Johnson’s of St. Mary, Montana.  I think it was this gig that cemented his Renaissance Man status – the boy can cook!  His fried chicken is heavenly, in particular.

Clean Shaven Brother Dear as a Consummate Carnivore.  Photo taken at the Cattle Baron, in actual-Babb, Montana.

Brother Dear the Ultimate Bat Guano Remover.  450 gallons removed from the Cabin in one day!

Brother Dear as Hippie Kayaker.  Gretchen’s Mirror, Hillhouse, near Babb, Montana.

Brother Dear as Coonskin Cap Model.  The BarX6Bar at the Tack Barn, Hillhouse.  Which Brother Dear built.

Brother Dear falling in love … with a four wheeler.  Sigh.  Chief Mountain Honey Company World Headquarters, near Babb, Montana.

Brother Dear the Bass Fisherman.  The Farm, near Millen, Georgia.

Brother Dear graduating from Cook to Chef:

Brother Dear celebrating Howard, at the Poia Cave waterfall, Many Glacier Valley, Glacier National Park, Montana.

And finally, my current favorite picture of Brother Dear, the Musician, with our dad:

Brother Dear is also a trusted confidante, a woodworker, an excellent writer, a gifted photographer, and a lover of pecans.  And today, his Big, Mean Sister cannot contain her pride in him, and her love for him.

Congratulations, Brother Dear!

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