In my family, there is this darling little tradition where, at approximately five o'clock am, my dad opens all of the bedroom doors, turns on blaring music, and calls out this obnoxiously cheery greeting, "GOOD MORNING EVERYBODY! IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY!"
I've never been able to figure out how he knows that it's a beautiful day, seeing that it's PITCH BLACK outside. Some things, dads, just know.
Anyway. If we aren't out of bed by the first two or three measures of whatever music he put on in the stereo, there are huge consequences. Actually, I don't know what they are, because I've never tried it—they're just rumored to be extensive. (Me? Sleep in? Why, I would NEVER do such a thing. No way! Stop looking at me like that!)
This morning, the music that played was Christmas music, and it was, um, very Christmas-y. It was a handbell choir. (Why, why, do they call it a handbell choir if nobody is singing?)
But I wasn't listening to the music.
All I heard was my dad saying, "It's snowing! It started raining at about 4:45 and now it's snowing."
In case you're wondering, no, I have no idea if that man ever sleeps.
Actually, I do know, and, no, he doesn't.
Well, I mean, he DOES, but, for the sake of the blog readership's valuable time, I used that statement generally, instead of writing out an entire epistle on the nocturnal habits of my father, and his quiet time in the early mornings, and that it's not weird for him to be up monitoring the weather at 4:45, and, you know, all that stuff.
So allow me to repeat: I have no idea if that man ever sleeps. Actually, I do know, and, no, he doesn't.
If you know me, there's hardly anything in the world that I admire more than snow.
I don't think admire was the best word to use there.
I was trying to be sophisticated and it didn't really work.
What I really mean is this: snow makes me happy. Very, very happy. And nine times out of ten (has it even snowed here ten times in my lifetime? I don't think so) it makes me very hyper.
So, predictably, I ran to the front window to catch a glimpse of the snow.
On the way to look out the window, my eyes caught sight of where my computer usually sits. It wasn't there. I panicked immediately.
Because if there's one thing that I "admire" more than snow, it's my computer.
Then I, of course, did the first thing any logical person would do: I went and found Jay as quickly as I could, and said, "JAY, WHERE IS MY COMPUTER!?"
There are two reasons for that.
First, he's the first one I would expect to sabotage my computer. He regularly tries to lure me away from what he calls my quote-unquote 15" widescreen alternate reality, into what he calls "the real world".
I've thought long and hard about what that might mean and nothing comes to mind.
Not at all.
But onto reason number two: Jay is very compliant when he's sleepy.
Like the time that my grandmother's house alarm went off, and we sent him down the street to check on her.
With a baseball bat.
A BASEBALL BAT.
Thankfully, there were no intruders. That could have been really, really interesting.
So. Because Jay is so very sweet and compliant when he's sleepy, and because it was 5:00 a.m. and I know he was sleepy, I knew that he'd try to help me find my computer, EVEN IF he was the one who hid it in the first place.
Sure enough, a few seconds later as I was wandering around the house aimlessly, searching for it, he emerged zipping up a coat and heading outside.
"What are you DOING?!" I asked, forgetting about the snow.
"Checking the locks on the house," he said, sleepily, "Did you say your computer was stolen?"
Now, he doesn't know it.
Because I can never think of how to phrase it, and I'm really bad at coming up with spontaneous compliments—even if I'm thinking them.
But….I really, really, really loved him right then. Not just because he would help me search for a computer he doesn't care about, but because he would get on a sweater and do at odd hours of the morning and venture into the SNOW to do it.
I, seriously, have the best brother EVER.
About the time I was thinking of forgetting about the computer and giving him a big hug, he sighed, turned, and started walking away.
"WHAT?!" I asked.
"Your computer is fine," he said.
"Jay! Jay! Stop! Where's my computer? Where did you see it?"
"It sitting right there where you left it when you went to bed last night, dear."
"No it's NOT!"
Another sigh. "Yes, it is."
He was unzipping his coat and halfway down the hall. "Follow the power cord."
And sure enough, it was right there on the table.
And sure enough, it was in perfect working condition.
And somehow I didn't realize the irony when I was so happy that I opened the computer and sent him an email to tell him thank you.
He emailed me--emailed me— back to say, "No problem about the computer….I'm glad I could help you find your way in life, er, your computer."
And on top of having the greatest brother ever, it's SNOWING.
Out my window at work I see Joshua Trees covered in white.
It's wonderful, all of it. Just wonderful.