Open letter to my brothers –
(Any sister with a brother can totally relate)
Over the years we’ve been able to learn a lot about one another, we’ve shared some deep conversations on life and many light hearted laughs about the past, present, and what the future holds. Throughout all those conversations that I have loved having with you, there are still some things burning inside of me that I want to share with you. Some of it you may know and some of it may be a surprise, but speaking for the sisters in this world, I bet many of them can relate to what I want you to know.
I want you to know SO many things about me and my thoughts on us and you know if I was given the chance I could probably talk for days about this. But you guys aren’t always the most chit chatty group of fellas all the time like I am, and well, I thought I would summarize for you some of the most important things I want you to know. So grab a beer (or whisky), kick back, and let me fill you in.
- I always wanted to fit in and be just like you guys. It’s probably hard to believe that the little twerp following you around, repeating every word you said, and always asking to play with you and being allowed into your boy games would mean so much to me and it still does. I may not do it in the same way, but I still always like to hang out with “my boys” and relax and laugh and chill out with you guys any chance I get.
- I’m so proud of each of you and the way you each are “doing” life on your own terms and in your own way. You all are incredibly talented and so different in what you are good at, what interests you have, and where you are at in your current stage of life. I want you to know that I love those aspects about each of you and it makes me so proud to be able to tell people who you are and what you are like and the fact that you are all so different in the best ways possible.
- I never liked any of the nicknames you gave me growing up. In fact, I really REALLY did not enjoy any nickname that any one of you gave me. But now, I find them funny, ridiculous, endearing, and they don’t bother me one bit. #Manjapwannanap
- I used to hide my favorite foods around the kitchen when we were younger to ensure I actually got some food. Growing up with all six of you was tough when it came to getting to eat my favorite foods. You guys ate so much food! So I would strategically help mom unpack all of the groceries each week from Cub or Hy-Vee to see what she got and then I would hide my favorites in random cupboards throughout the kitchen. Yes, I know S’mores pop tarts never belonged in swirly lazy Susan by the stand mixer, but that was one of my go to hiding places.
- I’ll always be your biggest fan. I always loved cheering for you guys in sports throughout the years and have definitely gotten so emotionally invested where I have shed some tears…but I want you to know I’m not just your biggest fan in sports, but I’m one of the biggest fans of your life and what you are doing and what excites you. I will always be there to support you in anything you want to do or try. (Andy – did I ever tell you I wrote a letter to the UCLA Basketball Coach your senior year of H.S. to try and get you a scholarship? #Iwilldoanything)
- Being the little sister was tough at times. I didn’t have anyone to ask how to put make-up on, to go shopping with, to jam out to Beyoncé with, or to share clothes with, and when my emotions got the best of me and the tears would start flowing you guys would pretty much walk the other way, but even though I got frustrated a lot and felt isolated at times, I still wouldn’t have traded a single one of you in for a sister.
- Your kids are my favorite sunshine in the whole world. For those of you who don’t have a kiddo yet, when & if you do, they will be in that same category for me too. Becoming an aunt at age 14, I didn’t realize that would be the start of an incredible new chapter of my life. I love spending time with the little and not so little kiddos that call me Auntie! They are the most precious, spunky, and funny personalities to hang out with and I adore them.
- Most guys I’ve dated are scared of you. Honestly, in the past the fact that I have SIX, Older, brothers AND I’m the ONLY girl and the youngest isn’t the easiest thing to take in for a guy. You guys can be a hard package to sell. In the past I’ve always tried to not let all that info out until at least the second or third date, but then again, it’s hard to hold it all in when you are all such a big and important part of my life.
- Our current life stages are pretty different, but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in what you have going on in yours. You may think I can’t relate to what you have going on in life because we are at such different stages, but I care about you and your life and that’s never going to change. I love when you share with me what’s important to you!
- I’ve always wished I could remember all those movie quotes. You know how you guys can have conversation after conversation by just quoting movies? It entails no functionality of how a normal conversation would go, just quotes. You don’t even mention the name of the movie before you start throwing quotes out left and right sometimes. I’ve tried so hard to remember quotes so I could join in on this, but to this day I’ve still fallen miserably short and just laugh my way through the conversations you guys have. I suppose it doesn’t help my case that I fall asleep during every movie we watch.
- I love our last name. A lot. Part of me doesn’t even want to change it if I were to get married one day. I don’t want to be the only person in our family without the Beilke last name one day. I’m so proud of our family and that last name means more to me than simply Beilke. It means belonging, family, they understand me, we’ve gone through the highs & lows together, and we are the Beilke Bunch. I’m proud of that.
- Having all of you together in one place, at the same time, creates my most favorite memories. I long for the days that we can actually ALL be together. We all live in different places, have full schedules, but those times we are all together hanging out with no agendas or places to be, that’s when I feel most like me. That is the place where I have no filter, where I know I won’t be judged, where I can say what I feel, where I can have a healthy debate, and where I can laugh until I literally cry. It’s something money simply can’t ever buy.
- Watching you all move on to start your own families wasn’t easy for me initially– no matter how many times I went through it. I’m not a champion at dealing with change and you all know my love of our family traditions runs deep so watching you each move into your next chapter of life with your own families and how that naturally adjusted our relationship wasn’t something I was good at working through. I may have said things that I shouldn’t have, I may have made you feel guilty about missing out on family events, and I may have been insensitive to your situation at times. I’m definitely not proud of that and I’m sorry for the way I reacted through these life adjustments and how I potentially made your situations harder for your own self to adjust to as well.
- I love having six brothers, but I also have to say having sisters now too is a huge perk of you guys getting hitched. You guys gave me the closest thing I’ll ever have to a real sister and I love each of them so much! Thanks for picking out my sisters for me who are also amazing women who I get to also call friends.
- I’m not just your little sister anymore. I bet at times it’s hard to imagine that I’ve grown up, gotten a real job, explored cities & countries on my own, and do life on my own terms. I don’t want you to ever worry about me or think I’m not capable of handling situations in life on my own because I fully am. I love that I know I can call each of you at any moment if I need something, but remember I’m not just your little sister anymore playing with Barbie dolls and dress up down the hall. I’ve got big dreams and I may take some risks in life and I may not “do life” the way you think I ought to at times, but I’m learning and growing with each and every decision I make and that has shaped me into the woman I am today.
You guys, the bottom line is, I love you. You each have played such an instrumental part in my life in all sorts of ways. As our lives continue to grow and change, some of the best memories we laugh about won’t change, but the amount of time and chances available to have conversations where we can have open and honest deep talks about life and what really matters will. I recognize that and that makes me treasure the moments I do have with each one of you. And I think Bob Hope sums it up best about what it’s like having brothers, “I grew up with six brothers, that’s how I learned to dance – waiting in line for the bathroom.” And I guess that’s how I wound up as a dance team captain in high school.
All my love,