Life is short. Smile a little.

I’ve lost a brother. My big brother.

I didn’t know him well. I didn’t know his dreams, demons, or passions. I was too little to know what to ask.

Our engagements were few. But even at a young age, I tried to treasure them.

As we got older, we saw each other less at events. Family drama and trauma were heavy and impossible to shake off.

But still, I loved on him.

Then, it was time to take a photo. The men never smiled whenever we took group pictures. Except for me and my goofy ass.

I wanted to change that, if only for this moment. I would insist that they smile. Imagine telling macho men to smile. Not a good idea. But then I did get a good idea.

I threatened to grab their butts if they didn’t smile.


Biggest, cheesiest smiles. Cussing me out the whole time.

I never even got close to actually grabbing their butts. The idea that I would was enough to get them to smile from ear to ear.

All of the best photos of the men of my family have them scared to death of me.

Oh, and they’re smiling.

I got to see their inner child come through for that brief moment.

My family now treasures these photos.

Yes, I have always been childish. It’s part of my charm.

By Teevee Aguirre