Oh, Brother!

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Never does the phrase “can’t live with them, can’t live without them” hold truer than with the siblings of the world. Who else would teach us the difference between jealousy and hate? How else would we prepare for the overwhelming competition in the real world? Where else would you find a person intensely devoted to you yet still so comfortable with you?

I know my brother better than anyone else in the world. Through all the fleeing babysitters and the workaholic parents, we had been there for each other. Since the moment of his birth, I’ve been a part of his life. But the opposite was far from true.

I had spent seven happy years in the world basking in the attention from those around me. But when Rohan was born, life as I knew it changed. Suddenly I had to share the toys with someone else, the camera had a new spotlight, and independence was thrust on me from nowhere. No more bedtime stories or my own choice of entrees. No more “big girl” vacations because of the new addition to our family.

Inevitably, my anger was forced on the person who I felt was responsible: my brother. The poor infant had no idea what warranted this aversion. Maybe he found me peculiar, the sole person in this house of admirers who did not fawn over him. Whatever the reason, he took to following me around. Everywhere. I usually responded to this by ignoring him, or complaining to my mother to make him leave me alone.

Then it all changed. I hardly remember the details of that day six years ago, only that I was feeling intensely angry. Somehow my feet led me to my brother’s crib. My hand, completely free from my mind, reached through the bars. Instantly, he encircled his fist around my index finger and squeezed. And that was all I needed. Through all the disappointments and frustrations of the day, that one moment changed everything. How could I hate someone who made me feel so important? For the first time, I saw my brother not through the eyes of a disgruntled star who lost her fame, but finally through the eyes of a sister.

To this day, I can’t imagine life without my brother. He tugs at my hand, and reminds me that I am needed. My significance lies in the touch of his fingers, the intensity of his gaze, the admiration in his voice. It is unbelievable how much I have learned about life from a seven-year old. Above all, Rohan has taught me to get rid of my selfishness. And that, alone, would be enough to make me love him.





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