I grew up with five brothers. As the only girl in the family for 11 years, I had to deal with toilet seats left up, incessant teasing (I never had good comebacks), and sharing my bedroom with each of them when they were little. We fought over the TV remote control, the car, and what food we would have for breakfast (corn mush–yuck!). When I had crushes on my older brother’s friends he told them I still wet the bed. Having all of these brothers was the worst!
One day, I was walking along the side of the house and discovered four booby traps (sticks with thorns all over them stuck into the ground) that my brother had set up to get me. I quickly ran back into the house, put on my tennis shoes and stomped on the booby traps until they were destroyed. Later, I learned I had just destroyed my mother’s newly planted rose bushes. Sheesh!
Life with five brothers was hard. I was always outnumbered. I hated being the only girl. Even though my mother said I’d one day grow up and love having all these brothers, I knew she was wrong.
And then, I grew up. The teasing stopped and the long-distance phone calls began. I started calling my brothers for advice. They answered my medical questions (nice to have an ER doctor and a dentist brother). They gave me website advice (nice having a UX designer brother). They gave me business advice (nice having two business executive brothers).
And then, I got divorced. These brothers now started calling me. Asking if I was alright. Offering to pay the bills. Seeing if I needed anything. One of them even offered to set me up with one of his friends on a date :). These five brothers became my fiercest protectors and my dearest friends.
When it came time for me to get a job after my divorce, one of my business executive brothers made introductions to his business friends, and one of them gave me a job.
Going Back to School
When I was trying to decide whether to go back to Brigham Young University and get my MBA, I called my brothers. They said I should do it. When the MBA program started, they continued to cheer me on and gave me encouragement. When I lost my job due to COVID, they asked how they could help. They told me I was wonderful, and any company would be lucky to hire me. They believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.
Happy Father’s Day
In honor of Father’s Day, I want to thank these five brothers of mine for being my biggest cheerleaders and my best friends. They are smart, kind, honest, hard working, and wonderful fathers. I love you, Matt Dunford, Clay Dunford, Adam Dunford, Ben Dunford, and Bryan Dunford.
And Mom, you were right.