Tag: Brother

Sibling Roles

I would like to think that my siblings and I are quite close. We talk every day, but still maintain a healthy separation and aren’t up in each other’s business (most of the time). We’re supportive and encouraging and we genuinely like each other. That is not to say that we don’t disappoint each other from time to time, or step on each other’s toes, of course. After all, the Meijer blood is strong.

What I like is that we have very different one-on-one relationships with each other; there is something that each combination of two of us share, that the third isn’t involved in. There are times where my siblings do stuff together that I am not that interested in, and likewise there are moments where I do something with one of them that the other isn’t involved in. There’s a fine line to walk that we don’t make one of us feel excluded, of course, but so far I think we’ve always been able to address it when it came up.

One of the things I was thinking of is that, when the three of us are together, we all have very different roles. I think those roles might be perceived differently depending on which one of us you ask, but from my perspective; my sister is our heart and soul, she embodies where we came from and represents our identity. My brother represents our untroubled nonchalance; everything is going to be okay, nothing is a problem and everything is possible.

I don’t quite know what my role is, necessarily. I’d like to believe that I’m our enabler!

My Brother

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.