I think I was about 12 years old, and my mom had just brought us kids home from something and we were sitting down for dinner. My sister and I were commenting on how we probably missed one of our favorite tv shows that night. Then my brother, around 8 years old, jumped out of his chair and made an animated joke about the show, and I almost fell out of my chair laughing. So did my sister and my mom. "He really is funny... more than your average funny guy funny..." I remember thinking.
I always knew it must be hard to grow up as the youngest by several years of three kids, and the only boy, and with obvious personality and interest differences from the older two sisters. I knew it was difficult and it was hard for me to show empathy since we were so different. We all loved each other even if it wasn't said very often, and we mostly got along, and we definitely had some awesome pretend games in the early years... but then sometime along the way as we grew to resemble adults more than we resembled kids, a few years ago, the realization came that my brother and I weren't so different. Definitely not in every way. Inside jokes were easily created and cherished. Laughter was easy and often. Texts back and forth were clever. He would have thoughtful things to say about the guys that I dated.
And so this early adulthood stage in a brother-sister relationship is a great chapter, and it's not necessarily the early years that are the most important in a sibling relationship. All the time you spend together can make it seem like that... but even when you don't wake up and stand on opposite sides of the wall heater every morning before school every day, you can grow as a brother and sister who are friends.
I thought these thoughts the other day when I was wandering around H&M looking for a present for my about-to-be 23 year old brother. I had texted him to double check his shirt size. "Medium, right?" I asked. "Yeah!" he said. Then, a second later, "Except when I'm flexing. Then I'm like an XL." I laughed out loud. I grabbed the medium size sweater. "Obviously!" I texted back.