I grew up with an older brother of whom I was never very fond. For that reason, I never took the time to get to know my brother, and I certainly didn’t make an effort to get along with him. My friends and relatives always said, “You’ll want to be close when you’re older,” but I never believed them. I no longer have my brother directly involved in my life, and I now understand why my relatives were so certain I would regret it.
My brother was four years old when I was born. He went from being the only, adored son to being in the way and constantly asked to be quiet so that I could nap. My first clear memory of him was when I was four years old. My brother was in the living room watching television, and I took the remote control from the table next to him. After pressing all of the buttons, I managed to completely mess up the picture. After that, my brother never let the remote control out of his sight again.
In the second grade, I was promoted to the third grade because I was bright and bored. By the time I reached high school, I was a freshman when my brother was a senior. There were countless times where he pretended not to know me so that he wouldn’t be embarrassed in front of his friends. When he graduated from high school, he joined the military and spends most of his time deployed to the Middle East.
Last year, my brother got married to a wonderful woman. I see him on holidays (if he can get away), and I find it hard to find something to talk about with him. We don’t really know each other, and visiting with him is like visiting with a distant relative. He and I do not have shared memories of family outings or games we played together because we never played together.
He and his wife are due to have a child in the next year. I realize now that my niece or nephew might grow up not knowing me because I was so stubborn in treating my brother like a nuisance. In the future, I am going to try to get to know him better so that I won’t be a stranger to his new family, nor he with mine.