“Little”

My “little” brother is leaving. I give him a hug as he walks out the door and I tell him to let me know if he wants company when he goes downtown. “I’ll probably just go tomorrow.” I feel something inside me drop. My heart. My stomach. Something vital and resembling an organ. “But we should do something anyway.” And my insides return to their positions, once again.

My “little” brother is leaving. And all I can think about is how to not let my existence increase everyone else’s burden. I want to tackle him to the ground, pin him down, tell him I should have tied a brick to his head so he stopped growing up so fast. I want to tell him how I don’t know if I’m going to make it through these two years. I want to tell him that even though things will be different when he gets home, I will always love him. And I hope he will always love me.

My “little” brother is leaving. Tears well up in my eyes every time I think about it for too long and, even now, my tear ducts prove to be in working condition.

My “little” brother is leaving, and I want to apologize for every time I did something that made him feel little. And I want to apologize for every time someone told him he had to be a man when he was still a boy. And I want him to know that despite the resemblance, he is his own person — he should grow up to be himself, and no one else. And I want him to know that whatever he grows into, while he is gone, I will still expect a hug when he comes home.

My “little” brother is leaving. And I feel so…little. I know that I grew up too fast, but I wanted him in Neverland forever. I wanted to be the first to leave so I did not have to cope with being left behind. I wanted to scout out what is ahead, and send word back. Be the big sister. Look out for him. I wanted more time.

But people tell me that is just part of life: wanting more time. Wanting something does not make it so.

So. I wish you well, little brother.

Love, Me

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