I'm a 6'7", 240 lb bald guy. I can be a little intimidating. That is, until you actually get to know me. I'm sensitive and I'm a crier. Some commercials really have it in for me. Anything that involves a kid with his dad? Forget it! Ty Pennington gets me every time. That song Cinderella by Stephen Curtis Champman...where's the box of tissues? What can I say? On my side of the Bernholdt family we were taught to take care of one another that family was important above all else yet, we were not that keen on sharing emotions. I came from the time growing up where you toughened things out. You got hurt and you rubbed some dirt on it. There weren't time outs and do overs and not everyone won a trophy. I know this because while playing 3rd base in little league I went after a line drive that hit the bag and then hit me in the face shattering my Harry Caray glasses into a million pieces. I am pretty sure after I shook it off that my coach, my brothers, or maybe even one of the parents in the stands said "That's using your head!" and we played on.
I don't know if all of this lack of emotion became bottled up inside me over time but I can tell you that it has been slowly leaking out, literally. I have a tendency to well up in particular when I am talking about someone that I care about. My kids by far are the worst. I have barely made it through Adam's first grade conference without explaining that I must have had some dirt in my eye or that my contacts were bothering me. When I was a teacher, this was really hard for me to give an awesome conference. Sometimes I looked forward to the kids who were failing to come in and show me that they cared because that meant I didn't have to get choked up talking about how amazing they were. I could be a hardass. That didn't happen often. It is this deep sense of pride that I have in people that will unleash the waterworks. Dammit Chris, there is no crying in blogging! If it was a student that really impressed me or showed me how great they were it was really difficult not to lose all credibility as this kid's teacher. I would be an awesome actor for crying scenes because I can think of lots of times students have impressed me or something that my kids have done that make me think. Wow! These people are incredible!
Before teaching I was terrible at public speaking. I still don't like it all that much. Speeches are hard but it's going to be even harder for me to talk about my little brother getting married. Don't get me wrong I couldn't be happier for him. He has found someone that he loves and she loves him back and they are going to spend the rest of their lives together. That's a beautiful thing but this is the same kid that I used to do everything with. When the kids at the Darien Swim and Racquet Club were picking on him I stood up for him. We played Star Wars, He-Man and G.I. Joe together endlessly. We rode our bikes to baseball card shops and to Showbiz Pizza to play video games. If you have seen this kid's Universal Studios movie you know that he is just funny. I have laughed more times with him than anyone. He just knows how to make people laugh. We lived together in Lyons and we lived together in Bolingbrook. Nothing brings two guys closer than dry-walling your own basement. We even worked together ; where Brett slept on a giant pile of rocks and our stories about that summer job are legendary.
He's the best about including people, myself included. He always let me tag along with his friends from high school which hasn't changed. I spent four awesome days in Welaka. Heck, I was in a mosh pit with his friend's dad seeing NIN when the dad broke some punks nose! The reality is I have been through a lot with Brett and he is undoubtedly my best friend. So, if thinking about him being happy makes me cry then let the waterworks begin. Love you Brett.