Today is a big day for the Pullan family. Adam heads to the MTC, where he’ll spend twelve days learning a lot about being a missionary (and not overeating at the cafeteria or taking sports time too seriously, if he listens to the sage wisdom from his brother-in-law) before flying out to Baltimore. We videochatted with him last night before he was set apart and I kept it together until we hung up and then I cried just a little bit. This is so weird.
When I was little I longed for a brother. Every year I asked for one for Christmas, little knowing that Santa had no hand in these kinds of things. When my mom was expecting Mariel, we learned from an ultrasound that the baby was a girl and I wouldn’t believe it. I was sure they had made a mistake. (Of course I was very happy to have a sister in the end! Do not be sad, Mariel!)
I was eight when Adam came along and I remember sitting at Jerry’s Dairy, a now-closed Salem ice cream joint with a full-size plastic cow on the roof, looking at a baby name book with my parents. I also remember that I was eating bubble gum ice cream, and that it was before I learned you should not just swallow the bubble gum. No wonder I always felt gross after eating it. We couldn’t pick out a name for Adam, so we called him “The Boy” or “Mr. X” for his first month or so of life.
I also really wanted a puppy when I was little, so I trained Adam to walk on a leash and drink out of a bowl when he was too young to walk. He used to run around the house wearing a pajama hopper, his Batman ears, a cape, and his underwear on top and backward (so you could see the Batman on the back). When people asked where he got his big brown eyes, he responded matter-of-factly, “The store.”
My dad was worried that with three (somewhat overbearing) older sisters, Adam might be suffocated by female energy. He made a rule that we could never dress Adam up as a girl. Dad and Adam would also flex and say “We are men!” as a reminder. When Adam and Grant were little, my parents let them camp out on P Mountain. The next morning, my parents went up to check on them and they had a fire going and breakfast ready.
There gets to be a time in Adam’s life, though, where I moved out and away, and I missed some things. It seems like one day I came home and he’d gotten tall and that my lovable baby brother had turned into an even more lovable teenager.
Adam is fully committed to the things he loves. He and Grant used to chase after the balls when we would play tennis and they developed a passion for the game, far surpassing their sisters along the way. It’s fun to listen to the two of them banter about their favorite tennis players (and by default to hear my mom go on about how “you’ve really got to see classic Monfils from 2012.”) I initiated the PHS tennis tradition, Hannah made it to state, Mariel was sidelined with a broken leg, and Adam and Grant brought honor to the family.
Adam is also hilarious. He has a great sense of humor and he has my mom’s genuine laugh. Last year when Jason and I went camping with the boys, they kept us laughing for hours around the campfire (and I learned more about scout camp than I ever needed to know). More than anything, Adam is kind. He looks out for other people. I’m always impressed when I go home by how much work he has done on the cars and the house. At Mariel’s wedding, he and Grant were so excited to pick up the fifty dozen donuts in the pickup truck.
I think I’ll miss Adam most at the St. George Marathon this year. I’ve promised that Grant and I will buy a maple bacon-flavored GU and squeeze it out at mile 20 in his honor. There’s no way either of us are eating it.