In all these years, I've neglected to mention my cousin, Landon. Well, I've mentioned him, but I haven't fully expressed how much he's meant to me over the years. I'll try to make this as coherent as possible, but to be honest, all my memories of hanging out with Landon run in a non-linear fashion.
Growing up, it was just me and April. I never had a brother. Luckily, I had a cousin that lived close by. He and I were two peas on a pod. Somehow, we managed to always get each other. Our sense of humor was in sync. We had a tendency to like the same movies, read the same comic books, play the same video games.
As kids we had wild imaginations. Often I would be over at his house and we would run around outside pretending to be super-heroes. During the summer we would hook up a sprinkler and imagine that it was a monster that needed to be slain.
He was the first of us to get a Nintendo. So, of course, that tended to draw my attention when I was over there. At my house, we had an Atari, which somehow drew his attention. We'd play two player games, and he would insist on being player one, because "guests first." But when it came to playing Super Mario, I always wound up being Luigi. What's up with that? I still give him a hard time about that sometimes.
Family get-togethers were always an exercise in patience. At least it was for our parents and our sisters. Landon and I would have the adults thanking God that there existed a kids' table. We never got through a meal without one of us having to walk away at some point because we were laughing so hard. I know there were a few times I was afraid I might choke. Okay, really, we still have times like that at our family get-togethers.
It wasn't always fun and games though. We could get into some pretty serious scrapes. I don't like to think we got mad enough at each other to want to beat the crap out of each other. But just because I don't like to think that doesn't mean it didn't happen.
So when I make the statement that Landon was the closest thing I had to a brother, I really mean it. We got along like brothers. We fought like brothers. We loved each other like brothers. Landon's a dad now. He and his wife, Daphne, welcomed their first daughter into the world on December 1st. I visited little Sydney Faith this afternoon. Gotta say, she's pretty darn cute. I can fully say that I'm proud of the person that Landon grew up to be and look forward to seeing him grow into his new role of father.