I realize I don’t talk about my family too much, and I really should. I tend to take them for granted, when I really should appreciate them more than I have. I have 2 half-brothers and 2 half-sisters. One half-sister is from my dad’s side, who married a woman who was not my mother, and had Amanda, who is now 20 and is going to University of Florida to major in Fashion.

My other siblings are from my mom, who married a man and had Josh and Amber, who are twins and 17 years old, and a little later, Joey who is 14. Josh and Amber have grown up fast. I remember, very clearly, holding them both in my arms when they were babies. It was such a joy to hold them, knowing they were so fragile, and my new brother and sister. Now they are both taller than me (their dad is over 6 feet tall.) Amber is most like me at her age, very compassionate and understanding. Josh and I were really close when growing up, and since Joey was too young, him and I never really were close. Now Josh is more interested in girls and sports, and I feel like I’m closer to Joey.

What amazes me though is that Joey is 14, yet is very mature and understanding for his age. He is very polite and has impeccable manners. He is sensitive to people around him, which belies his appearance, as he’s a big boy for his age, as he still retains his baby fat, which I believe will disappear when he reaches 16 or 17 years old, as it did for my former stepbrother Joel.

Being the oldest, I am forced to be a good example to them, to provide wisdom to them, and be the one they can talk to and trust for any problem, whether it be for a relationship (puppy love), school, and of course our favorite, peer pressure. It was a good thing they weren’t around me when I was a teen going to high school. I would’ve been a really bad influence, as I was a rebel back then. Now I feel like I am wise and mature enough to impart on them good advice, to be a good big brother, and I enjoy that role now. I’m only (almost) 26 years old, and yet I feel like there’s so much they should learn and appreciate in life.

They came by today, except for Josh who was with a friend, to hang out with me. I cooked dinner for them, and we had a good time. One of my top priorities, is to get pictures of them up and available in the gallery. I’ve realized I don’t have many pictures of them as they are now, and I really need to get a bunch, so I can look back and remember them as kids, because they are growing so fast.