My brother and I had grown up close. We're about 18 months apart and we practically did everything together. I'd dress up like a Power Ranger and he, despite denying it and photo evidence, would dress up as a princess. To this day, we still tease him about how he made a beautiful Snow White.
The other day, my mom called me and she told me about a paper my brother was writing for school about how he had lost his two best friends. Least to say, I was more than confused. She continued to explain how it was about my grandpa, who passed away a few years ago, and me.
A little over a year ago I had moved away to college. I'm only two and a half hours away and see my family regularly, and text and call even more often. I cried when she told me how my brother felt he had 'lost' me, and then proceeded to cry to my roommates about it.
Yes, I was sad, but it also left me surprised because he was the type of 17-year-old to never text back and when he does decide to contact me, typically it's over SnapChat. I basically have to force him to say "I love you." I'm pretty sure "I miss you" was scrabbled in his brain and now he thinks it means, "I like it better at home when you're not here because it's quieter."
Then, my mom and I started talking about how caught up my parents were in their own feelings of missing and being proud of me that they never really thought about how my brother felt. For 16 years, we did everything together, and one day, it all stopped. I stopped going to his games and driving him to school. We went from driving to school every morning to barely talking. It was a sudden change, and my parents were caught up with having a partially empty nest and I was concerned with transitioning to college life.
Even though my brother never voiced how he missed me, I knew he did. When my parents dropped me off at my dorm room, my parents didn't cry. I expected the full waterworks from both, but nothing. They were happy and excited for me.
But, my brother? When I left my house, he was heading to school and I hugged him outside of our house, and we both cried. My almost 6-foot tall, lacrosse-playing brother cried, and he wasn't a crier. The more I came home, the easier our goodbyes were, but that doesn't mean we stopped missing each other.
I truly didn't realize the impact of me leaving home had on him, neither did my parents. So, to all the parents who have a child with siblings moving out, remember that you'll miss them, but you're not the only one.