Welcome, Kizen

Brandy’s note: Finally! I can share this column on my blog! I surprised my brother and his wife with a framed print copy of this. So, here it is for all my online readers. 🙂

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The natural light in this photo is just beautiful.

On Thursday, Aug. 6, my family welcomed a new member: Kizen Malcolm Nance, a 6-pound, 12-ounce bundle happiness for my brother, Dalton and his wife, Amanda. They are brave souls — starting all over — their youngest is 14 (until Kizen came along Thursday).

Kizen has two amazing siblings, Mazie, 16, and Zerrick, 14, who are equally excited about the new addition.

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My sweet nephew and I.

Kizen had a bit of a rough start, spending a few days in a neonatal intensive care unit — but is home, happy and healthy. I cannot begin to express my gratitude and how much I already love this little guy. The family resemblance is striking — he’s a carbon copy of my brother. A true “Mini Dalton.”

In honor of Kizen coming into this world I have decided to put together a few memories of myself and my brother, his father, growing up. I’m sure someday he’d like to read about the mischief his dad and aunt got into, right? (My apologies ahead of time to my brother for this). And there will be many apologies to our mother, who had to raise us. Sorry, Mom.

We liked to play with our food. Our mom, Pat, likes to tell the story of the time we decided to test out the newly-released shatterproof peanut butter jar. Well, I’ll tell you this: it did not shatter, but it did break. A jumbo jar, too. Sorry, Mom. Then there’s the time we decided to test if the spaghetti was done by throwing it on the kitchen wall. In hindsight, I realize they meant to do it before you put spaghetti sauce on it. Again, sorry, Mom.

We enjoyed walking on icebergs. Seriously, Kizen, don’t do this when you get older! But, I have copies of pictures Dalton and I took of us standing on icebergs in Wichita (frozen ice at the bottom of a dam). Sorry, Mom.

We liked to watch street racing. Back in the day kids used to gather on weekend nights on Meridian Street in Wichita to street race — until the police came and ran everyone off. Sorry, Mom.

We loved to build forts using sheets. This is a childhood classic! My brother and I used to love building huge forts in our bedroom using sheets, chairs and whatever else we could find to build. We were pretty good at this, I must say.

We left mail for each other in mailboxes outside our bedrooms. This is a very fond memory of mine. After my brother and I got our own rooms, we had little mailboxes we would put notes in for each other. Each day we’d wake up to a new note. We even have our own Facebook group called “Sibling Mailbox.”

We always stood by each other — through thick and thin. Through it all my brother and I stood by each other. Even when we got into fights (which all siblings do), we would never rat each other out. Sibling strong!

Welcome to the world, Kizen. I hope you enjoy this history lesson someday.

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