A few weeks ago, I wrote about my interesting relationship with Bryson. Here's more about what a typical day with my younger brother - for whom I'm also a "father figure" - is like.
When I first saw Bryson, I frankly didn't know what to expect. Would he be an idiot incapable of learning anything, like someone who is severely autistic? Or would he grow up as quickly as anyone else who is seven years old? The only way to find out is to spend time with him and live through our lives together.
The first things I noticed about him were his boundless energy and bubbly personality. When he says something - especially his new signature catch phrase "Am I a good country boy?" - it's in a strong but beautiful voice. I'm convinced that, if he wanted to be a singer, he would make a pretty good one!
The same energy applies in everything else he does. When Bryson sees a school book - he attends the same Crabtree schoolhouse as his niece Belinda - he starts reading it eagerly. He has also joined a prank group called the Rotten Rascals, with schoolmates Oliver "Poo Poo" Brayboy, Rebecca "Ladybug" Beavers, "Sweet" William Crabtree, and Bloodworth Spikes. On the day I came, they greeted Miss Crabtree with a huge string of bubble gum they had placed in a spray bottle! I thought the Rascals would be punished for that, but Miss Crabtree just smiled and moved on. After all, why would she go after her own son?
Because of his age and special circumstances, he does not help that much on the farm, even during the peak season. I will hand him some hay and animal feed so he can help feed the mules, goats, and cows, so he does learn some responsibility that way. He spends most of his summer days on top of the treehouse Harvey built for the little kids.
Each night at about 8 o'clock, I read stories to Bryson in his bedroom. They are all kinds of stories from all different sources, including some I have made up. (One example of the latter, involving bears and wolves, can be found in the book in, I think, Chapter 8. - D.H.)
To sum up, Bryson has learned so quickly that no one on the outside can tell that he had to restart life from scratch. In addition, he's the playful little brother I never had before, and as I wrote earlier, I look forward to every moment I spend with him.:)