What is your absolute favorite word? Like, the kind of word that when you see it in a book or hear it in a movie, you just stop to process what that word means to you.

Or maybe you’ve never even thought about it. But no, that’s not right. Surely everyone has a favorite word. Just like everyone has a favorite color, animal, number, name, food, etc.

My favorite color is green, blue, or turquoise. (It used to be strictly lime green, and nothing else, but now I’m starting to be brave and branch out a little). I also love orange.

My favorite animal is a horse.

My favorite number is either 23 or 17. Because those are prime numbers. I highly dislike even numbers or numbers that are not prime. They seem…wimpy. Don’t ask me why.

My favorite name is…no clue. (Yeah, I know, I’m going to name my first little girl “No Clue”. NOT!) I like names like Rohesia and Arielle and Marileajose, that you can’t pronounce, and therefore no one can make fun of it. (That last one, Marileajose, isn’t even a name. I just started typing, and that’s what came out.)

I don’t know what my favorite food is, either. But some of my favorite food names are quesadilla and tortilla. I love saying them with the ‘L’s still in there so that it sounds like Case-a-dill-a and Tor-till-a. I’ve been saying it so many times in my head lately that when I recently tried to say something like, “I have no idea,” it came out like “I have no i-dill-a!” Yeah.

And my favorite word ever…is…(ta-dah!)… Snick. Like, the kind of “snick” that you read about in books. The lock made a soft snick! as I pulled the door shut quietly behind me. That kind of snick. I actually looked it up online before I wrote it here, just to make sure it wasn’t a bad word. With how often words change, you never know. But the only other meaning I could come up with was that it was the abbreviation for Snickelodeon. (No, really! If you don’t believe me, look it up on the Internet!) So if it means something besides the snick I read about in books, I’m sorry.

And I’m halfway kidding about that being my favorite word. Do you know what my actual favorite word is?

Ready?…here it is…(ta-dah!)…

Brother.

The word brother is my favorite.

Why?

Because of what it means to me, as 16-year-old Kaitlyn M. Bergen of Aurora, Nebraska.

I have four brothers. Three of them can be very annoying. The other one isn’t old enough to be anything but cute.

Brady teases mercilessly, embarrasses his older sisters by jumping down the aisles of T.J. Maxx like a kangaroo on sugar high, pounds on the lowest keys of the piano while I am trying to play an slow, sad, emotional piece, drives everybody nuts by talking during school, and tells Mom that it’s time for me to go to bed as soon as he is sent.

Riley whistles shrilly, blasts my eardrums out with his loud singing and yodeling, pounds on the highest keys of the piano while I’m trying to play that aforementioned emotional piece that Brady already ruined, plays his violin as squeaky as he can when I’m reading a book, just to see the wrinkles in my forehead as I frown [in concentration], tells jokes that don’t make sense, and only lets me hold Henry when he [Henry] is fussy. He goes around singing more than slightly-annoying songs like, “I love you, baby, with all of my heart!” and it doesn’t count that he’s only singing it to Baby Henry. It still gets under my fingernails. (Same as something getting under your skin, only worse.)

Colby pretends he doesn’t know what I’m talking about when I hint that the Legos on the floor might be his and he might want to clean them up, and he’s so innocent-looking that he always gets away with it. He somehow convinces me to give him the last of my candy stash, repeats Riley’s “I love you baby!” song, and wants me to read Max Lucado’s Punchinello book three times in a row, even though I just read it to him an hour before.

And Henry, as I said before, is too little to be anything but cute.

My brothers and I don’t always get along, and often I forget to remember how special, talented, smart, and irreplaceable they are. I forget to value them as who they are, and to see them as human beings, and not just some noisy, energetic, bouncing-off-the-walls type of boys.

(And I have to remember not to forget that some of the times they are crabby or out of sorts, it is my fault.)

Brother.

That word is just…special.

When I come across it in a book, lots of times I will stop and stare at that word for a long time, just processing it and wondering why it means so much.

(Now I bet you’re thinking, “Oh brother!” Yup. “Brother” is right!)

In a way, I almost count my sisters in when I see the word “brothers”, sort of like when it says “brethren” in the Bible, it’s talking to men and women.

The last time I told my sister that my favorite word was “brother”, she looked at me really strange. (Probably in the same way that my brothers would look at me if I said that my favorite word was “sister”.)

So maybe you are thinking that I’m strange too.

But no matter. When was the last time somebody didn’t think I was strange? Hehe.

And I might say more, except for that my attention span ran out an hour ago. (The reason for my lack of attention may or may not be coming from the direction of the TV, where, not the Olympics, but Winnie the Pooh is blaring forth.)

And when I find my long-lost attention span, I’ll come back and write something else. When I think of that elusive something, that is.

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