For the first few years after my brother was born, he had difficulty sleeping. He would cry a lot during the night and generally needed quite a bit of attention. It took a while before we came to realise that this was due to some early onset asthma, after which we rearranged the entire house, got rid of carpets and things became much better.
In that time, to save my mother’s sanity, my sister and I were required to look after our kid brother in the morning, when he was up bright and early, despite keeping my mother up all night, while my mother got some much needed sleep. We’d watch him, feed him, change his diapers and played with him.
When he turned about five or six, I hit a time in my life that I was busy doing other things. Girlfriends, college, going out, etc. I had less to do with my family during that time and I didn’t concern myself with my brother too much. That last until he turned about thirteen. I was twenty-five at the time, was living on my own and was starting my career. It was right after the air force that I started to pay attention to him again. It was partly due to my step-father telling me to take an interest because my brother apparently looked up to me.
Slowly but surely I started to pay more attention. He came and slept over, we watched films and played computer games. (I started to indoctrinate him with the things I thought were important in life.) When he was about sixteen or seventeen that culminated into an actual friendship rather than a younger/older brother relationship. A friendship that’s pretty fucking solid and enviable, if I do say so myself and one I’m very happy with.
Looking back, I should have been there for him more. I should have been more of a big brother to him while he was growing up. I really regret it, but I was too self-involved for a long time. That was a period in which I completely lived and moved with my own personal gratification in mind. I had a lot of fun, but I think I could have done much, if not all of the things I did then, and still have stayed involved.
Anyway, I’m glad it all worked out. I have some examples of people who simply have no relationship with their siblings. Sure, not everyone is going to have the Sam and Dean Winchester relationship that I’m bordering on with my brother, but it’s still miles better than the complete non-relationships some people seem to maintain with their sibs.