Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Sunday, 26 February 2012
when i first met my brother, our language exchanges always started and ended with, 'no'. he'd pull my hair, scratch my nose, cry at every instance. but when he laughed and smiled my chest would swell with happiness and i would hug him so tight he'd start crying again.
i was in a new country and felt like a baby too, maybe that's what always held us so close. i was seeing things for the first time, just like he was beginning to. we read the same cardboard books with letters bigger than the top line of a snellen chart. we learnt the same words: bird, sky, hippopotamus (he learnt how to spell that when he was two and i wore a badge that said proudest sister ever). we watched the same TV shows, (pretty sure my brother stopped watching bananas in pyjamas when he was 3. i watched it until i was 11 or something ridiculous).
during my primary school holidays he'd stay home with me instead of go to kinder, but we'd still pretend he was going there, and get all the bears out to be other kids. we'd watch TV in the morning, i'd make a menu of things he can order for lunch (sandwich, instant noodles, pizza, or left overs from last night), after he'd have a nap (he was a bit restless and never really did though), then we'd spend the afternoon with 'class' time, i'd ask questions to the bears and him. he would always put one of the bear's hands up and pretend to answer from them.
we'd often get into trouble for eating in the living room, be responsible for using all the cushions in the house to make giant forts, over-taping important videos with episodes of arthur, madeline, and the land before time. for one whole year we watched mulan and dumbo every night before dinner. a family friend had taped the two movies for us from his DVD (we had never seen a DVD until he showed it to us), and my brother loved dumbo but got sick of fast-forwarding every time because mulan was taped first, that he would just play both of them.
i began high school when i was 11, and all of a sudden i was tackling important issues like how should i have my hair tomorrow while he hadn't even started primary school. it seems weird when i think about it now, but back then i thought, oh that's okay, he'll grow up and in a few years we'll be able to talk about real things! like why brock doesn't have eyes?!
he started school the next year. all these things i hid from him began tainting his brain faster than an oil spill. he swore sometimes, got into trouble at school, and told me what sex was: 'when the man has to kiss the woman's boobs, ew!'. when i asked him who told him, he told me 'his buddy'. when i was a grade 6 buddy to my prep i told her 'don't play on the upper playground because there are too many caterpillars in the summer time.' what sort of a fucked up grade 6 tells my 5 year old brother that on his first day of school?
we drifted apart a little. i'd tell him i didn't want to play yu-gi-oh! anymore and once dropped a 2L bottle of lemonade on his head. accidentally. but all in all, i still liked cooking for him, making forts with him (until i grew too tall to fit under any), going to the library to borrow books together, sharing candy (he used to always save me his lolly bag from his friend's parties he'd attend to, because i 'couldn't be there to eat the cake'). no matter what he looked up to me and i could not have asked for a more generous, loving brother.
he is 14 now and, like most other young teenagers, he has kirsten stewart's acting (and usual) face on all the time. i think when i was 14 i still at least pretended to like members of my family because i didn't want to hurt their feelings. but my thoughts are no longer relevant to him and he makes it very clear. instead of investing emotionally into all this i think i might buy some shares that actually have more value.
it's just hard to accept my brother has reached the age of decision making (in his mind), and there's nothing for an overbearing sister to do but maybe eavesdrop on his life every now and then, hoping he is hanging out with the right people, and treating everyone with respect and courtesy and love. i think (hope) this 'new' teenage version of him is all just a phase, like the one we all went through, (except for me because i am a ninja, and the only phases i go through are the steps to gain inner peace... so i can destroy my foes without emotions).
jesse, if/when you read this, please don't tell the world i am not really a ninja. please also know that i'd like to be a good sister, and will listen to you without bringing my side of the argument (because listeners just listen), unless desperately needed, i.e if you decide to become a pokémon master, because ash has had a pretty decent head start, and there are more rewarding and less selfish things to do in life, than become a gym leader. but i mean if you really want to i'd still support you with all my heart.
lots of love,