Monday, December 18, 2006

New Chapter in Sibling-hood

My little brother, Mark, is seven years younger than me. We've generally gotten along pretty well, considering the age difference and that I often filled in as his second mom when I was in high school (both of our parents are diehardly wonderful workaholics). Now, however, he has entered that stage known alternatively as Tweenhood and Middle School Syndrome. It's a dark and scary place.

Where I was once the trusted wiser older sister, I am now often scorned and flatly ignored. I assumed that he, being a boy, would go through this with our parents, but I never thought it would mess up our relationship, especially since I'm mostly off at college and not a part of his daily life. But it seems (at least to his somewhat hurt older sister) that he's transferred the insolence he can't show towards his parents to me.

He's always made fun of me, and I of him, but this has a different, meaner edge to it. He has no regard for my opinions, or if he does, he would prefer to keep that appreciation internal and instead negate everything I suggest. For example, in the car on the way to an evening at a friend's house tonight, he was sulking because Mom had been abrupt with him, which was understandable considering that her day had been long, busy, and rough, and we were rushing to get everything together to go. I suggested that perhaps now was not the time to be angry with Mom, citing said long, rough day. He looked at me like I was from another planet, rolled his eyes, and muttered, "Whatever."

I've never been set on dominating him- I'd much rather be his friend, and share with him my life goals and what's going on in my fast-paced world. I'd like to hear about his hopes and dreams too. But the open happy relationship that was mostly still there at fall break now seems closed off. He's a good kid, at heart, but I sometimes can't see that for his selfishness (alhough maybe that comes from him being so anxious?).

He's just not as mature as I thought; he's got some growing up to do. Maybe I do too. Maybe I'm expecting too much. He just has so few people he holds close to his heart enough to trust. I've been one of those people; I've cradled him when he's been crying and afraid all throughout his life. Maybe I'm resentful that he's distancing himself from me- but maybe he had to because I left. I don't know. But I wish he could see the quiet daggers he stabs in my heart every time he looks at me in that oh-my-gosh-you-are-so-dumb-how-did-I-ever-look-up-to-you way.

Sometimes the old Mark shines through, though, and he's giggling and excited. He was like his old self when he was playing with our friends' dogs tonight. And maybe he doesn't mean the things he says to sound so mean- maybe they're meant to be funny, but I'm taking it to personally. I don't know.



Dear Santa,
For Christmas, I want my little brother back.
Love, Laura

3 comments:

  1. He might just be a little bit resentful that you are gone, and you are missing out on things he really wants you to be there for. It's not your fault, though. You have to get on with your life and grow up as much as he does.

    And that's what he is doing, he's growing up. And he's growing up without you, and that's how it is going to be. It's just the way things are. You'll find as he starts to get where he's going through things that he really remembers you going through (about as soon as he gets to high school), the relationship will become closer and closer.

    You are not going to get your little brother "back" as he was. Things are meant to change. And very soon, he's not going to be your little brother anymore. He's going to be your equal and your friend. And you won't need to take care of him. He might actually need to take care of you.

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  2. Now, don't scare me, Laura. =) My son will be 11 in a couple of years.

    I guess there is truth when people advise me to enjoy my son's childhood while he still has it.

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  3. Carol Burnett said that children should be placed in a coma at puberty, and awakened in their early twenties.

    Wait'll you have kids...this, too, shall pass.

    See why I'm all about the spiked eggnog?

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