Last week was my little brother’s 27th birthday – my little brother! he’s been taller than I since 1993! – and we went to my mom’s house for dinner and dessert. My brothers and I are quiet in different ways, especially to each other; despite our closeness in age, we’ve always had different circles of friends, gone to different schools, and seemingly had few things in common. It’s only recently that I’ve noticed how alike we really are.
In high school, I had my couple of friends; my brothers had… lots; I’ve had college and grad school while they’ve had work; I’ve visited friends in Scotland and Chicago while they’ve traveled all around the states (to many more places than I’ve been) with their now-defunct band. Our education and experiences are vastly different.
But these past few years — each of us having gotten far beyond that adolescent embarrassment of anything “family” and having mellowed a lot — I realize and appreciate just how similar we are. We’re sensitive in the same ways, affected by slights. We’re “funny” in the same ways, with a dry humor that not everyone appreciates. We worry and are protective in the same ways, both about our father and each other.
We’re each both quiet and loud. The quietness is more obvious; the loudness is through our creations – mine is writing; Zach’s is through music; Jonah’s through any number of outlets, whether cartoons, songs, or podcasts.
I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am. We each experienced our parents’ separation, our mom’s remarriage, joint custody, my accident, and our dad’s travels. I see my mom and my dad in each of us; this provides me a great deal of comfort.
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“It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea.”