My little brother turned twenty one today. I called him during lunch to wish him a happy birthday because I wasn't sure I'd be able to catch him before he had to leave for work if I'd called after school. Afterward, I sat in my classroom weeping and struggled to pull myself together before fifth period. I'm not altogether sure why. He's three hundred miles away, and that's just wrong.
We fought a lot when we were little, and things didn't really get easier as we got older. I was the annoying good example our parents expected him to live up to. He had the good sense to rebel, and my parents expected me to try to get him back on track. He didn't take kindly to my coaching him through the scholarship application process, and we were both wildly unenthusiastic about my parents' idea that I needed to offer sage council after his first semester of college when his grades put him perilously close to losing that scholarship.
Yet, we got closer nonetheless. During his first year of college, we started getting together on Monday nights, grabbing dinner at the student union, and then heading back to my dorm for silly sitcoms. Sibling t.v. night became sacrosanct, and we carried the tradition on last year after we moved into apartments a couple of blocks away from each other. We'd meet at his place, cook dinner, often go do our grocery shopping for the week together, watch television, talk, do homework, and just generally enjoy each other. It was amazing.
Now we're both trying to figure out how to cope with life outside of college. He's back home, struggling to pay his bills on wages from a part-time job at a pizzeria (plus some parental subsidies) while he spends the year trying to figure out what to do with his life before (we hope) heading back to school. I have more money than I know what to do with, but I'm marooned in the Delta trying to teach. One of the bright spots in the past few weeks was my brothers' suggestion that we both wait to watch Heroes together this summer, and I can hardly wait for the chance to go hang out with one of my favorite people.
I miss him like crazy.