The Perfect Brother

October 1, 2011
To many teenagers, their siblings are a tiring, bothersome nuisance. A beloved nuisance perhaps, but still a nuisance. But not my brother; he is different. Ever since I was little, I always looked up to him. In my eyes, he could do no wrong. I never ratted him out on anything, and always took his side. I was his sidekick - his little sister. And he will always be my big brother. Despite a huge age difference, he has shown me the meaning of determination, humor, and love, and has inspired and supported me through all of my endeavors.

I’ve always thought that my brother was the smartest person on Earth. I still do, but the fact of the matter is that there will always be people smarter than me and my brother. But he proved to me that intelligence isn’t everything. It’s possible to become successful and do well without being the smartest person, but being the most determined person. That’s a lesson that can be applied to everything. I still remember the day that he won nationals with the Science Olympiad Team. We waited at the airport for him to come home. As he came out of the terminal with the rest of the team, he held the trophy high overhead. Running to him, I gave him a huge hug and asked to hold the trophy. He let me hold one side while he held the other, and the pair of us had our faces on the front page of the newspaper. He was my inspiration to transfer high schools as well as to try out for Science Olympiad. Due to his enormous efforts in academics as well as music, he excelled and was accepted into UC Berkeley. I remember that it was difficult to play games with him then because he was always studying. He pursued a degree in mechanical engineering while playing clarinet in the symphony there. My parents and I often drove up to hear his performances. And when he graduated from college, I was there to share the triumph. I’ve always wanted to be just like him. Learning from his example of determination, I know that I can overcome all challenges that may block my way.

Despite all of the studying, working, and sleep-deprivation, he never lost his sense of humor. I don’t mean to say that he was a stand-up comedian, but no matter how serious he had to be about work and lab he never lost his child-like attitude. That is one of the things that I love best about him. Those silly, stupid, crazy little gestures that he went out of his way to do to make my day. Sitting next to an annoying car blaring heavy metal so loud that our car was vibrating at a stoplight one day, he decided to open all the windows, turn the volume up to max, and blare Beethoven right back at him. The driver’s expression was priceless. I’ve come to realize that a childish sense of humor is necessary to get through life. With his simple and positive outlook on life, the negative events seem to fade to the background. Then dealing with them is not quite so bad. Some would say it is immaturity, but I believe that true maturity is knowing when to be serious and when to be silly. It’s an important distinction that his attitude toward life taught me.

My brother taught me the meaning of love. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. “Love” is one of the most overused words in the English language, with “I love you” being the most overused expression. And yet, when he tells me he loves me, I know he means it. I can tell by the way he hugs me, the way he calls to talk to me, the way he takes the time to write long heartfelt birthday cards. They mean so much to me that I try to keep all of them. Some have vanished over the years for unknown reasons, but I still have a few. The one I love most of all is the one he wrote to me for my ninth birthday. He had just left for college, and this was the first birthday I had celebrated without him. A section of it reads, “I really miss you, kid. Your high giggle doesn’t sound quite as boisterously hilarious over the phone as it does in person. Everyone thinks you’re so cute for asking me about calculus, chemistry, and the Big Bang. :D Being away from home is nice, but there are times where I get intense pangs of homesickness, especially missing you.” Although I’m used to him living away from home now, I still wait in excitement for his occasional visits home. On top of family love, my brother is currently engaged. Yes, my brother is getting married! As I watched over the years, I also came to love his fiancée. But what their years of dating really taught me was the amount of commitment that finding that special person requires. They taught me what being in love is supposed to be like. It doesn’t change in a week, a month, a year. It stays true through the hardships and the triumphs. Keeping this in mind, I know that I will survive the relationships ahead and stay strong for my friends. I hope that I will be as lucky as my brother was when he found her. And when I hear them say “I do” at their wedding, I will know what true love is.

He is everything to me. So much of what I want to say, I cannot put into words. I cannot hope to encompass of all my brother’s complexities. He does so much for me that I do not think I deserve. I love him so much. Near and dear to my heart, all I can say is that he is the perfect gentlemen: kind, humorous, and loving. But most of all, he is, and always will be, my big brother.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Truly I tell you, this is definitely one of my favorite nonfiction articles that I've ever read on here, and I don't think I know how to tell you exactly why. But I'll try anyway. :) It just (and I hope this doesn't sound creepy) gave me so much joy, to hear that your brother gave you so much joy. To hear about such a relationship as the one you shared with him gives me even more hope for the world. And he sounds like a remarkable person, and a great sibling. Really a gift, I th... (more »)

savetheplanet replied...
Oct. 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm
Thank you Raven!  I think that was my favorite comment from you! <3  I guess I hear so much about siblings fighting all the time that I felt the need to share what I have with my brother.
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