In the spirit of Thanksgiving (and not “Thanks-getting” which I just heard advertised on the radio) I felt like I should share some really cool things about getting older, even if I still eat at the “kids table”.
One cool thing I’m really grateful for is college, and not because you find people who are as freaky as you or because there are toga parties or 2a.m. trips to Waffle House, but because college is the first time you’re separated from your family; and most importantly, your siblings.
I spent 18 years of my life with my brother filling the role of my personal punching bag, mortal enemy, semi-occasional best friend, and all-around worst nightmare. Let’s just say he filled the role well. Oscar-deserving no doubt.
When I went to college, I felt free as a bird to not have my little sibling tormenting me every day. But what I didn’t expect was to find people who are so similar to my brother and have them become some of my best friends. They are loud and obnoxious and funnier than anyone I’ve ever met. They torment me and send embarrassing photos of me to each other and never leave me alone. So how is it that when I get to pick my friends, I end up picking people who remind me so much of my brother, my life-long mortal enemy.
I realize now that when I was given the chance to choose, know, and love my friends who share so many qualities with my brother, I accidentally started to know and love my brother a little better, even if from a distance.
That’s a cool thing about getting older: you live your own life for a little while and realize your siblings are actually not that bad. Now the kid texts me pictures of drawings he’s done recently and funny YouTube videos he found and tells me stories about what he and his roommates did last weekend, which would’ve never happened a few years ago.
So today, when he came home for our first round of holiday breaks, I was a little excited to see him because 1) I haven’t seen him in months and 2) I’m realizing that if I can see him the same way I see my friends, he won’t be my life-long mortal enemy, but rather my occasional mortal enemy, which is an easier title to hold.
No, Mom and Dad, this is not my official letter of retreat, but rather my acceptance that my opponent and I are not too different after all. You haven’t ended the Glenn sibling fights quite yet (and let’s be honest: you likely never will.)