Family Ties

26 May

Plinky prompt of the day: What are your siblings like? Do you wish they were different?

I have one younger brother, named James, who is currently in pharmacy school in SC. I’ve basically been living away from him for six years, either when I was at school, or now that I’m back and he’s out of the house. He’s three-and-a-half years younger than me, which was just enough distance when we were younger to keep us into different things, have different friends, even going to different schools once I left elementary school. We’re not very close at all – in fact, we hardly talk. I’ve probably talked to him a grand total of five times this entire year so far. He doesn’t usually return my phone calls or texts, and of course he doesn’t ever call me just to say hi or to catch up. I know very little about his life, because he’s very private and doesn’t much share what he’s doing. He doesn’t even currently have a Facebook, although he has in the past. He rarely comes home, and when he does, he keeps to himself in the house or is always out with friends. He’s pretty much a mystery to me.

When we do see each other, we get along. This wasn’t always the case, though. When we were really little, we did everything together, probably because my mom stayed home after he was born. The three of us were always together, so James and I spent a lot of time together. When we got into school, though, we grew apart and fought a lot. Not an unhealthy amount, I don’t think, but he definitely became a big pest. For many years we just kind of did our own thing – he had his own friends, and I had mine, and our worlds didn’t really collide. When they did, it was sometimes explosive. Now that we’re older, though, we don’t really fight like we used to; now, we’re like strangers who have spent a lot of time together. I used to know all about him, and could probably tell you his favorite color. Now, the things I know about him are limited to this: He loves baseball, especially the Yankees. He doesn’t get along with my dad at all. He’s just finished his first year of pharmacy school, which he loves. He’s had a couple of girlfriends, but I have no idea why they broke up. He likes playing video games, doing stuff outside (sports, hiking, rafting), and he’s usually pretty quiet. That’s about it.

Growing up, I always wished I had a sister. Even sometimes in college, I wished that. Nearly every one of my close friends has a sister or two, and no brothers. With one exception, I am the only one of my good friends with a brother. All my friends seemed to have such a different relationship with their siblings than I do with mine. They would talk on the phone, come visit each other on the weekends, hang out together at home, and share many things. I don’t have that kind of relationship with my brother at all, but I wish that I did. It’s different for me, of course, because he’s a guy. They’re usually not as into those kind of relationships as girls are. It’s been really hard for me recently to see all my friends with good sibling relationships, while mine is practically nonexistant. Sometimes I feel like I’m an only child. I basically grew up without cousins, too, so now I feel like I have all these missing links in my family.

I don’t necessarily wish that he was different, but that we had a different relationship. I wish we spent more time together, had more in common, and could actually talk to each other like friends. I wish we kept in touch and did things together, but that’s just not the case. I don’t know how it will be as we get older; right now, it doesn’t look like we’ll be living anywhere close to each other for a while. I’ll be interested to see how our relationship changes in the next few years.

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