My Brother Through His Sister's Eyes

My Brother Through His Sister's Eyes

Watching my brother grow up from the backseat of my father's car


Whenever I haven't called my brother in a while, my mother reminds me that "you guys are the only thing you have." It's weird to think about it that way because my brother and I live 200 miles away now. He is 23 and I'm 19, and for the last couple of years we've been growing and building our own lives away from the home we both grew up in. However, it's still important to remember where we came from, which is exactly the same place.

A sibling is the only person who knows exactly what it's like to grow up in the same house with the same rules. To grow up in the same town, attend the same school, and maybe have some of the same teachers. They know exactly what it's like to wake up and go to bed in the same house, eat the same food, take care of the same pets. Put up with the same nagging from your mother.

That is, until one sibling moves away. All of the sudden you aren't under the same roof and you don't have to follow the same rules. You don't go to the same school and you don't eat the same food, and, for the time being, only one of you has to put up with nagging from your mother.

For me, this change occurred around five years ago in 2014 when my brother went off to college in South Carolina.

I will always remember the places where I dropped my brother off and watched him return to his new world while I stayed with my parents and continued on in my world, which felt so small compared to his. In 2014, that was Boston Logan International Airport, where we would drop my brother off every time he went back to school. I was old enough to stay home alone, but I always brought whatever homework I had left until Sunday night to do and packed in the car with my father and brother for the hour ride to the airport. I waved through the window as my brother, who hardly seemed old enough to own his own debit card, left for a flight that would bring him hundreds of miles away. Back to where he had this whole life I knew nothing about.

That first year was very hard, but being away from my brother in the end made me feel closer to him. He would call every Tuesday and Thursday to talk the family, and that became my only interaction with him. For example, I wouldn't see him every morning at the breakfast table or shove him away from the sink so I could brush my teeth at night. I had to pack those everyday moments into the span of half an hour, which made me treasure those phone calls even more.

Starting in 2015, that drop-off location changed to Boston College, where my brother decided to transfer for his sophomore year of college. We still had the same Sunday night routine: I'd pack into the car with my brother and father with whatever school work I had procrastinated on and we'd drive down Route 2 at dusk. This time, however, when we arrived in Boston, there was no plane to take, just a few flights of stairs for my brother to climb up to his dorm room.

I still watched from my father's Ford Fusion as my brother waved goodbye and ducked inside behind another college student coming from the gym or the cafeteria, this time wondering—as I was a year older—what it would be like for me to be in college, to wave to my father as he drove away.

In 2016 and 2017, we'd drop my brother off on Englewood Ave in Boston, where he lived in his first apartment with his college roommates. Again, the routine was the same: Sunday night, dusk, me in the back, my brother in the front (he always seemed to get his way). This time I'd wonder what it would be like to own my own apartment, to live in the city. I'd wonder what it was like to be truly independent like he was.

In 2018, my brother graduated from college. In the fall, he moved into an apartment in Waltham (a town just outside of Boston) with his best friend from high school. It was funny because, even though he was officially "out in the real world", he had moved closer to home and was still living with the kid he played Cal Ripken baseball with.

2018 was also the year I graduated high school and moved off to college in New York. It wasn't until 2019 that I'd see my brother's apartment in Waltham and drop him off there with my father. I felt different this time, because I wasn't watching my brother leave and wondering what it was like to leave as well. I had my own life, my own apartment even, at school. We had both grown up, and I thought I'd feel different, more removed, maybe, from the home we had shared, but I never did. I never do.

The thing about being a younger sibling and watching my brother grow up from the backseat window of my father's car is that I could see him change even before he could. I saw him move from school to school, apartment to apartment, job to job, while I was still living in our small house, in our small town, attending our small high school. I was wrong about one thing, though. I thought I'd see him change and I'd just stay stationary, unchanging, watching him from the sidelines.

But, in reality, I was changing all those years, too. I watched my brother build his own life and I got excited to do that myself. During those phone calls, I talked to him about where I was in life and where I wanted to go, and he'd give me advice on how to navigate what was about to come: the whole growing up and leaving home thing.

The reason he was so fit to give me that advice was because we both came from the same place. We're all each other have, my brother and I, and we're the closest to one another because we have the same perspective on growing up. It doesn't matter where we are in life. It doesn't even matter that we call each other less now, even though I wish we didn't. What matters is that even if we don't brush our teeth together every night, or roll our eyes at our mother every morning, we can reminisce about doing that. That's something only the two of us can hold on to as we leave that comfort and nostalgia and occupy worlds of our own.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

10 Home Items You Need For Stress Relief, On The Days You 'Literally Cannot'

Fill your home with peaceful, calming coping mechanisms.

I'd like to think that 2020 is teaching us a lot. Or will teach us a lot. Or will be a story we tell at parties one day. Ultimately, this year has been — and is probably going to continue to be — a bit of a mess.

At the beginning of the year, Australia was on fire and we mourned the death of Kobe Bryant. Then, coronavirus (COVID-19) took our spring and shut us in our homes, inciting panic over public health and sparking political upheaval at every decision made by local and federal officials alike. Now, a week after George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a nationwide conversation is reignited with protests regarding racial injustice in the United States. There is an enormous amount of tension, hurt, and change that is upon the American people.

Keep Reading... Show less

No matter who you are (an introvert, person of color, member of the LGBTQ+ community, Scorpio, TikToker, you name it), we want to hear what dating in America is like for you and the thoughts you have while working through the talking stage, first dates, navigating love, working through dating problems, etc.

Keep Reading... Show less

30 Black-Owned Skincare Brands Every Beauty-Lover Should Know About In 2020

They're not changing the game — they're making a new one.

Skin is something most beauty-lovers obsess over from our early teens, whether our aim is to be glowier, softer, dewier, or poreless, most of us are consistently tracking a new skincare goal. No matter how many products we try, we'll likely forage on with the goal of IRL Photoshopped skin, no matter how many dollars go to them.

The black-founded skincare brands below are the brainchildren of extreme dedication and resilience within the privileged world of beauty. Born out of resilient entrepreneurs overcoming circumstance in a world that does not favor business people of color, these brands have loyal cult followings, and with good reason.

Keep Reading... Show less

A huge part of being in a relationship is communication and, well, part of communication is listening. So, why not have a little fun with your partner and see just how well they know you?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

7 Ways You Can Safely Attend A Protest In The Middle Of A Pandemic

Wear a mask, but speak up.

It seems like coronavirus (COVID-19) has been around forever now. Life before masks and with public sporting events is a distant memory, hoping to make a comeback sometime this year. We've all had to make some sort of life changes to abide by this pandemic's rules. But that doesn't mean everything has stopped. On May 25, George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, sparking a cry for justice and racial equality across the nation.

For the last week, protests have taken place in major cities like New York City, LA, DC, Chicago, Phoenix, Portland, Dallas, and Floyd's hometown of Minneapolis. Many of the cities experiencing protests have begun phased reopening, while others (specifically New York City and LA) have yet to begin phase one of post-coronavirus reopening.

As COVID-19 is hardly in our rearview mirror, there are extra precautions protestors can take as they advocate for justice.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Helpful, Effective Mental Health Resources Specifically For The Black Community

These organizations are qualified, caring, and acknowledging the mental trauma individuals are experiencing.

On May 25, George Floyd died after being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer. In the last week, protests have sprung up across the nation, demanding justice for Floyd and accountability for police brutality. Social media has also seen widespread conversation regarding Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and racism in the United States. Today is #BlackoutTuesday, where many are sharing a single black square to represent unity and support for Black voices.

In light of the heavy climate that our country is facing, it is a safe assumption that many individuals' mental health may be suffering. We wanted to highlight mental health resources and organizations that are Black-owned and prepared to assist in whatever you're going through.

Keep Reading... Show less

15 Black-Owned Haircare Brands That Cater As Much To Inclusivity As They Do To Your Locks

Championing Black entrepreneurs who make some of our hair favorites.

The haircare industry is vast. With the rise of social media came hundreds of thousands of empowered, niche brands. Single entrepreneurs came out of the woodwork with hair brands that now, years later, have dedicated cult followings.

Of those multitudes of brands, few cater to all hair types, most made without regard for curly or coily hair. These brands, however, are different.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments