When We Were Young

I never thought my relationship with my brothers was much different than anyone else’s with their siblings, but adults liked to comment how amazing it was that we got along like we did. I was the oldest and the only girl, but my little brothers–three and a half to eight years younger than me–were my best friends.

We wrestled around, jumped on the trampoline, rode bikes, played board games with my parents, watched movies, and, my favorite, made up imaginary games. We liked to pretend we were spies, assassins, vampires and werewolves, parents to our toys, teachers, wizards… We’d invent a story and play the part, and it was so much fun, especially during the summer when we didn’t have to waste our time with school. The only interruption was lunch, and sometimes Braden and I would hurry and finish, and Mom would make us wait at the table so that Logan would eat the rest of his food instead of abandoning it to join us.

When we got computer games (Frogger, Frogger 2: Swampy’s Revenge, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), we played those as a family, gathering around the monitor to compete with times with the second Frogger and to figure out the puzzles in the second Harry Potter.

Getting an xBox was even better. One of my favorite games was called Fusion Frenzy where you would compete by fighting or playing Hot Potato with a bomb or jumping and ducking while this platform spun ’round and ’round… We loved playing that together. I always played a pink girl named Jett.

Growing up with my brothers, entertaining them while they entertained me, made my childhood fun, exciting, and now something to remember fondly. My parents were always willing to play with us, to mess around alongside us.

Today Braden’s married to a woman I’m happy to call my sister-in-law and they have two beautiful kids. Logan’s turning eighteen here in December (and boy do I feel old) and has an awesome girlfriend that he tries to spend time with while he works and finishes up his senior year. Both my brothers are hard workers with the same company my dad works for, and I don’t see them nearly as often as I once did, especially since I work full time, too, and I’m happily spoken for relationship-wise.

But I’ll never let anything get between me and my little bros (though calling them little is hilarious to me; a long time ago I was the tallest, but now I’m the shortest). They’re still two of my very best friends. We still wrestle around if we can get away with it, we still like playing games, and they have always pushed my buttons as a form of entertainment  and likely always will. They’re happy for everything good that happens to me, and I’m happy for everything good that happens to them. They both deserve the best life has in store for them.

When I write stories, I love to have characters with good relationships with their families. I want to show the world what healthy sibling relationships look like. They make all the difference to a kid, and to the adult that kid becomes. And having parents who participate like mine have adds even more light to their lives. I’ve never lacked the warmth a good family holds and I’m so blessed because of it.

I loved when we were young, but I love us now, too. We may have lost a bit from back then. Obviously we don’t have summer break devoted to nothing but eating lunches and doing whatever we want. But we’ve gained a lot, too. We’ve added to our family. We’ve found new things to enjoy. And we can bond in different ways now that we’re catching up to adulthood. Once you hit a certain age, it matters less who’s older. Quite frankly, Braden’s been ahead of me on the adulthood scale for quite a while. But we’re starting to even out, and Logan’s right here with us.

One day I’m going to write a novel and do my best to capture us. But the boys are so colorful, I don’t know if I’ll do them justice.

But I’ll try. Because, like it usually is when my brothers are involved, it will be a lot of fun.

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