By virtue of being the oldest, I naturally believe that I am the smartest, the wisest when it comes to all matters trivial and beyond.
But I’ll be damned if my little brother isn’t trying to prove me wrong.
Last night as I was pretending that I didn’t have insomnia, my little brother texted me to tell me he was having yet another major surgery this week (see how I’m glossing right over that? See the glossing? **covering my ears** la la la la la la la la la la la laaaaaaaaaa) and we started texting back and forth for the better part of three hours or so. It was probably the best conversation I have had in a very long time.
Somewhere around around three, I texted Joy…
Um… when did this child get to be so SMART?!?!?
It was quite a beautiful thing to recognize that my brother is no longer the impressionable kid who may or may not have let me put him in the dryer just to “see what it was like”. Sure, I hope against all hope that he still thinks I am the coolest thing since Scooby Doo in technicolor, but I realize that he is his own person, with his own definitive ideas.
He’s like, almost a grown up.
So after I have a slight anxiety attack, and then sob into my pillow that is already damp from the tears I’d cried earlier, I decided to indulge him. I tried to measure my words so that I could give him advice or spur him to say something without him feeling like I was judging or being overbearing. We talked about everything from video games to college to religion. At one point, after he’d made a particularly vague point about God, I asked him to clarify his position and
prayed the entire time I was waiting on his next message, please God don’t let my little brother be some kinda Bible thumping Jesus freak he sent me this:
I don’t really believe there is a god as in only one superior being watching
over us and having all the power in the universe… I’m more on the positive and
negative energy kind of thinking, as in the way we use those energies affect our
lives… to me there is something like God but it isn’t necessarily a being; its
the universe and the way the energy within makes things happen.
I’m sorry… WHAT SIR?!??!?! Did I mention my brother is 19 years old?!?! Granted, I don’t necessarily share his view, but I WISH I could have articulated my religious beliefs that well at his age. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, he went on to talk about religious doctrine (specifically Christianity) as it relates to slavery, stem cell research, abortion, separation of church and state, slavery, civil rights, The Crusades, terrorism, segregation, the historical accuracy of the book of Revelations, and masturbation.
Oh my God. My little brother said masturbation.
Even more interestingly enough, we discovered that we both have very different ideas of what it was like for us growing up together, but separate. As we talked, it was nice to be able to fill in the blanks for him, to be able to gently correct some of the inaccuracies he’d been told. It was nice to be able to talk about what it was like for me growing up, and have the person responding be someone who was a part of that living history. I recognize that he is at that age now where he will either find out or need to be told some of the things that were kept from him because he was a child. But I enjoyed just getting inside his head a little, I appreciated the honesty. Who knew we both thought that we both thought the other was better liked?
I am incredibly in awe of how smart he is, how funny and opinionated, and sure of himself he is at 19. Hell, at 19 I was a drunken, reeling, emotional mess, despite my other positive qualities. Who the hell raised this kid? lol
As I sit at my desk at work, surrounded by pictures of him from shortly after he was born, all the way up to high school, I can’t help but smile at this new picture I have of him as it exists; an incredibly intelligent, astute and handsome young man who is rapidly outgrowing the childhood that I treasure. Sure, it’s bittersweet, but it’s kind of amazing to witness as well.