My older brother, David, and I spent much of my childhood torturing our younger brother. I used to tell him that if he had sex before marriage he would die. We used to bend his legs back and put his underwear over his feet at the top of the stairs so he couldn't get down. Once, the only time I ever remember it snowing in my hometown, I locked him outside in his boxers. Although even with that, I still had a strong maternal sense over him. As a baby I carried him everywhere even when my mom told me not to and as he got older I forced him to let me pick out his clothes and do his hair. However, as much as I treated him like my barbie doll and picking on him was all in good fun, those moments were far and few between all the fighting we did.
Adults were always telling me to just wait until we were older because we'd become friends. That was hard to take seriously when I was literally dragging Jordan out of my room by his foot because he had snuck in when I had people over. I can recall countless screaming matches and full out brawls over anything from the remote control to riding shotgun in the mini van.
At almost 20 years old I joined a leadership program and moved into a dorm at the LA Dream Center. Jordan was only 15 when I moved out, and other than for a quick summer I didn't live under the same roof as him again until I was 24. In those four years my little brother moved about five times for various reasons. During that time he grew in a lot of ways a teenager shouldn't have to and the two of us grew apart. Then at 24 I moved back in with my mom and Jordan for six months while I saved money to make the big move over to Boston. Those six months reminded me that even with all he went through when I wasn't around, his heart stayed true to the boy I grew up with.
These last two weeks that he's been here visiting have been the epitome of a friendship birthed from forced siblinghood. A part of me hates becoming an adult and admitting that a lot of things adults used to tell me about how my life would turn out are true. We have been able to completely explore Boston, were given amazing tickets to a Red Sox vs Yankees game and spent his last weekend here getting lost in New York City. We stayed up late playing Speed like we did as kids and have eaten more ice cream than my body knows how to handle. I have been reminded of the boy that I knew and have been able to have real conversations with the man he has become. I know you don't get to choose your family, but I thank God that this is who I was given.