It’s interesting to think of how I talk about my family. Most everyone who knows me knows about Sarah (because she’s constantly featured on my twitter/instagram/blog/facebook/snapchat). Yes, we all know she’s amazing and adorable and kind-hearted and sensitive because I showcase her all the time.
Then we have my parents, who I try to refrain from mentioning on here–at least when it’s negative. Most people know about my mom, though. A simple Canadian with outstanding manners (my favorite example is how she apologizes to Siri when she is misinterpreted). She’s a very typical stay-at-home mom who my friends adore, and then there’s my dad who is a very typical working dad. A family doctor in town who gets home between 5 and 6 and tends to spend the rest of the night working alone in the basement or watching shows with my mom or playing poker with some guys in the community. And it’s not like he was an absent father or anything, but because we don’t have the best relationship, I tend to hold back my feelings (or at least save them for my journal). Because, to be honest, our relationship has a lot of ups and downs (or a lot of downs with the occasional up) and I don’t think constantly sharing my side of the story publicly on a website that he could potentially find one day is a good idea in the slightest.
I will say this, though: while we butt heads on just about everything, the most important thing he has taught me is the value of family. A little ironic, right? But he was married once before he met my mom and together, him and Carol had Caitlin, my older half-sister. She’s another family member that many people don’t know about. She grew up in a house two hours away from us and we did see her fairly often (considering how busy we all kept ourselves), but that alone was enough to keep us from having a “typical” sibling relationship, I think. I still 100% call her my sister (“half” if I’m clarifying) and I love her family dearly, it was just different.
But, as the title indicates, this post is inspired by my brother–who is frequently forgotten by my friends (just as much as Caitlin) which is a little odd if you think about it because he is only one year ahead of me and seventeen months older. But we’ve had an interesting relationship. It started off great, back when Sarah was the third wheel and Sean and I were best buds, but then we were put in the same class (a 4th grade/5th grade experiment) and that was where we honed our most defining qualities to one another: my annoyingness and his tendency to be a dick.
Then we just kind of grew up wanting more distance. We could still be civil and get along, but I think being grouped together for so long was really damaging. I don’t know how he felt about me, but I mostly just hated being in his shadow. He was always hilarious and the class clown and going on adventures with his big friend group and having funny stories to tell. Meanwhile, I was hiding away in my room because I was somewhere between introverted and constantly self-conscience and I still had no idea who I was.
He had always been so sure, though. And, of course, sibling rivalry kicked in because he was always better at soccer and smarter naturally and didn’t have to try to get people to like him. I was always just a little behind.
When he went to college, though, I think we got the separation we needed. He was suddenly at the other edge of the state and we hardly ever saw each other. And I think that’s helping us repair this relationship.
But that’s the other thing, I don’t know if he wants the relationship repaired, because he surely could get by without it. He has the same family as I do, but he gets different things from different people. He has a dad he truly looks up to and a sweet mom who is always just trying to do everything right. He has a half-sister who has her own hilarious family and is a blast to hang out with, and he has a younger sister who adores him and can actually maintain a healthy relationship. And then there’s me–someone who can fight with him for hours and knows how to annoy the hell out of him.
But he probably doesn’t need that in his life.
Okay, this post kind of took a turn I wasn’t expecting (and it’s turning out to be much longer than I intended), but my whole point of this was to talk about a new resolution I have: to re-connect with my family. Because today I was sitting in EDP and we were talking about creativity and I was thinking to myself how Sean is one of the most creative people I know. And I don’t know if he knows that, because I’ve never told him.
So I want to make some changes this year because whenever I see stories of sisters who don’t get along or don’t particularly like each other or are just missing out on the relationship that I get to have with my sister, I am saddened to the point of tears. It’s why I cried during Frozen and it’s why I cried last week while watching a short video called “Where’s Molly” for class.
And then I think, some people out there have this kind of relationship with their brother. This indescribable, wonderful thing that can’t be put into words because it’s just the simple fact that revolves around the importance of family. And I don’t want to grow up and have kids who don’t get to learn soccer or hear the funny stories or get to look up to their uncle, all because their mom was too stubborn for too long and refused to just grow up.