I’ve been thinking about my little brother a lot lately. Not the one living with us, the older little brother, the one living in London, England (clarified for you east coasters who seem to always want to think of London, On, which always throws me for a loop).
Since I’ve been thinking about him so much lately, it only makes sense that he’s been in a lot of my scrapbook and art journaling pages:
Above I journaled the story of his birth, which I am sure he’s sick of hearing. But honestly, he was supposed to be my long awaited sister and I was going to name him Marina (which, let’s be honest, isn’t the best of names for a west coast kid, especially when you add in the fact that my name is Marya) and we were going to play Cabbage Patch dolls and Barbies together. So I was a little disappointed when he showed up. Disappointed enough to throw quite the royal temper tantrum, asking, no, demanding that he be returned and exchanged for my sister! After all, they had taken up half of my bedroom, built a wall and all, which was ok for a sister but for a stinky brother, well I wasn’t so ok with that.
Needless to say, my parents weren’t keen on accommodating me. But that’s ok, he was pretty cute with his carrot top hair and tiny toes and fingers. I’m pretty sure my mom is a master manipulator and knew that as soon as she put him in my arms I wouldn’t want to return him. It’s just a theory but I wouldn’t put it past her! She’s pretty clever that way.
Anyways, when I came across an old picture of the 2 of us and put it next to one of us now, I was just so awed by how much we’ve grown since then. And while I’m still recognizable, he’s much less so. But I swear, the ogre towering above me(even wearing heels) on the right is really him!
And because I loved the wiser, more mature version of us, I decided to make a scrapbook page out of the entire picture, with all 3 of my little brothers (who are all taller than me, don’t let the heels fool you):
At one point in my life (hell, ok, up until recently) my brothers have always been so much younger than me (7, 12, 14 years younger) that it’s been hard to relate to them and maintain a relationship with them living so far from home. A 6 hour plane ride, be it east or west, just makes it hard to have an every day relationship with siblings, especially ones in different life stages, you know?
But now that they’re older, I find myself negotiating an entirely different and more complex relationship with them, but one that it so much more rewarding. I still have the motherly, big sis stuff going on (which is my excuse for bawling like a baby at my brother’s wedding) but also the shift into friendship is starting to come into focus and that makes me unaccountably happy. I have this weird, divided and oddly invested sense of pride that comes from being able to see how they’ve grown and being able to enjoy who they have become (not that I had anything to do with it, just that I was able to see the process from beginning until now). And quite frankly, also scares the living shit out of me when I think about having kids. Cause if I feel so many emotions about watching my brothers grow up, how on earth am I ever going to cope with a child.
I don’t know if my brothers really have any idea how deep seated and complex my love for them is, but since this week marks 2 big events for 2 of them:
- The non-sister big, little brother’s birthday
- And the other moving away to go to school
I just wanted to put it out there. Happy birthday and Good luck! May the year ahead be one full of many grand adventures, love, laughter, and growth for you both.