Today my little brother turns seventeen.

It sounds so much younger when I apply it to him, then when I turned seventeen myself. Why? I think because I’ve always been more mature than him in certain stages. His age five did not look like my age five, for example. For me, when I get a year older it’s more a shrug and ‘call me when my physical and mental age match’, rather than a…stepping stone. I don’t think much of my birthday because it doesn’t get too hugely celebrated, and is usually celebrated late, along with my whole not caring how old I am ‘technically’. I’ll care when I’m, oh, thirty-five. Physically. Mentally I like to believe I’m around early thirties already.

But back to my brother. This is the first year I won’t be there to tell him happy birthday in person, try and keep my mom from signing ‘Happy Birthday’ (she’s the only one who likes that), or…anything, really. I did order him a gift off Etsy, and I am so stocked it was, at least at the time I bought it, the only one available. probably once the one for him is made and shipped and all that, there might be another, but for now…it’s unique. I hope that he’ll like it, and I think that he will.

I still wish I could be there and actually, physically give it to him. Not just because it’s fragile, but because he’s my brother and I love him. No, we haven’t always gotten along. Yes, when we were little, there was  a point where we were more or less at each other’s throats. But we got over it, got along. Sometimes we’d just have these little talks, sitting in the living room when our parents would be elsewhere, and he’d tell me about some girl he likes, or some girl that likes him, school, and other things. He’s not that talkative of a person, so I felt glad that he was opening up to me. And I would give him the same, opening up to him whereas, like him, I’m not prone to it for certain things. I like that. I’m glad to say he and I actually have something of a brother-sister bond. There was a point where I thought we’d never get along, and then one day he decided to talk to me, tell me things.

Whenever he’d get good grades on something, something usually somewhat rare for him, he’d come into my room and tell me. He would try to not seem proud of himself, but I could tell he was. He never wanted to make a big deal out of it, but he wanted to show me. Maybe because I’ve always been the one who has had good behavior in school, good grades, and all that; he liked to tell me things that were equal or greater to what I’ve done. He loves to say how he has more friends than I did in high school. He’s more social than I am, and he takes all the positives and negatives that come with it.

Next year I think, when he’s turned eighteen, he’s going into the military. He plans to graduate in January instead of June (though he’ll still walk, which I will be there for, thankfully), work some until he can go off to bootcamp at eighteen. I’m proud of him. Especially since he’s finally getting his stuff together and studying, doing homework. It took since fifth grade or so to, but he’s finally back on track because he so very much wants to graduate early.

I’m proud of him. He may hate it whenever I call him my baby brother, but he is. Just like I’m his ‘sissy’, something he never ‘grew out’ of calling me. I actually don’t mind now that he still calls me that. So he’s my brother, with all his imperfections, and I love him.


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