The Bear is learning a new word this week. Well, he seems to be picking up at least one new word everyday. Today, he said “Poo-oo” and patted his diaper. He was graciously indicating that he had indeed pooped again. It was the second of four healthy, albeit rather small poops produced by the Bear for my cleaning pleasure today. Why four tiny ones, Bear, why? I digress. There are better words the Bear is learning.

He is working on G.C. for my Mom (he can say the two separately but can’t quite get them together yet), Gammy for Mark’s Mom, and he has the “Doe” of Dodi down for my sister. I can’t wait for him to get her name because I think it’ll be really cute and look forward to her hearing it on Skype. (In case you’re wondering, he’s been saying “Gunh-Guh” for both his grandpas for a while now.) We are working on mastering “Russ” now for another very special reason, which you will discover, as you enjoy this special Top Ten.

Top Ten Reasons My Brother Rocks (And Might be a Superhero)

10. He taught me how to read. That is just ace. Three degrees later, I think he got me off to super start!

He sneaks the Bear away to share superhero secrets...

9. He used to sneak me cookies and milk at bedtime when I wasn’t supposed to have any because I didn’t eat all my vegetables. He had to be a superhero to be so sneaky!

8. He has a job that has him out and about in the city of Atlanta, and he works a lot in hospitals. Superheroes always live in big cities and are nearby when people need help.

7. He has a sidekick named Logan. It’s okay that Logan is a friendly, big-headed yellow lab named after a University Football coach. You go with what works for your character.

6. For years we had a tradition of doing all of his Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve together. You’ve gotta be a superhero to pull that off.

5. He’s a congenial and very likable character. Superheroes are always the nice, unassuming, friendly guy you didn’t expect.

4. The last time I was home, he drove up from Atlanta just to visit for a couple of days and see his little nephew again. Okay, so he didn’t use magic powers to fly up to North Carolina, but it was still pretty super.

3. Kids always seem to love him. He even handles it well when they colour on his white couch. Kids love superheroes.

2. I’m pretty confident he could stop a speeding bullet. At least once.

1. He and his girlfriend, Erin, are coming to visit us NEXT MONTH during the World Cup! He might be using a plane to make the long flight, but coming to visit your baby sister a half-a-world away is a wonderful enough thing to earn you a cape and some tights! Especially if you bring chocolate chips.

So that’s the good news, and that’s why Bear is practicing his “Russ” right now. Although it’s a bit more of a “Ruh” at the moment, I feel confident he’ll have it before Uncle Russ swoops in to save the day. Metaphorically speaking. The other good news is that I’m eating my veggies these days, (can you believe it? If you’ve known me more than a few years you probably can’t!) and no sneaking of cookies and milk will be required. (Although the Bear might not mind a snack.)

Looking forward to your arrival, Erin and Super-Bro!