We haven’t always had the best relationship. In fact I recall hating him when we were teenagers. I think it was combination of being too close in age (17 months) and the competitive spirit that we both possess.
High school was tough for me. I was on the outskirts of about three different cool groups – which meant I wasn’t popular at all. Ben came up behind me and was voted Prefect (= popular). I was in the chorus in the school musicals. Ben was lead. I got straight A’s (OK a few B’s). Ben got straight A+’s with a few A’s.
But over the years our lives drifted in separate directions. I took the straight path – University straight after High School, travel, marriage, job. Ben was more interested in an artistic life with less responsibility (and less money – sometimes supplemented by my parents which was another source of frustration for the always-responsible oldest child). He didn’t understand me and I didn’t understand him.
But now that I am 34 years old and Ben is 32 we find our lives merging again and suddenly there is a renewed respect for each others’ life choices. Granted, he has drifted more toward the standard path over the past few years (regular job, car, looking for a house), but there seems to be a level of appreciation and understanding that wasn’t there before. We’re not in competition anymore (well, not all the time) and we can have adult conversations about the paths we both took to get where we are.
I still don’t understand his obsession with junk food – specifically missing out on a visit to Burgerville (ok, maybe I understand it a little. Burgerville is FANTASTIC!).
But I am grateful that we can now talk like adults without the adolescent crap that somehow made it’s way into our 20s.
Maybe it also has something to do with the fact that he chose to marry someone who is eerily like his sister in many ways.
Come on…I had to say it. 🙂