Growing up with an older brother can be tough. We were close as small children, but our opposing personalities led us to grow apart.
In hindsight, we were also jealous of one another. He was jealous of the attention I got; I was jealous of the freedom he had. Any time he had friends over I always wanted to be right in the middle of all the fun. Now I ask myself: What older brother wants their little sister hanging around all the time? I think my need for everyone’s approval caused him to be more bitter because he felt I was constantly provoking him.
Our history spoiled any chance of a positive relationship as we grew into young adults. It seemed like all of our differences piled up and we just weren’t on the same page anymore. As juvenile as the bickering was when it started, we were not even speaking to one another by the time I got married.
I had given up hope of having a relationship with my brother. Then the impossible occurred. I had my first child and my relationship with my brother changed completely. When I walked into my parents’ home to introduce my family to my newborn son I hadn’t had a real conversation with my brother in years. But he immediately walked up and loved on the baby who was in my arms. From that moment on, nothing has been the same.
The biggest difference in our relationship is that we have grown to accept and love what makes each of us unique. We learned to embrace and enjoy our differences rather than wanting to change them. Now we come together by doing things that matter to both of us. My children have played a huge role in this. As we have grown older, we see how important family is and how petty our problems were.
A year after our reconciliation, my brother just drove ten hours to visit my husband and me for a week. We had a blast! Our relationship grew stronger with each moment he stayed with us. We don’t just tolerate each other now, we actually like each other! He talked about moving here to be closer to my family. I never dreamed any of this would ever happen, but I am loving every second of my renewed relationship with my brother.
Our past is like a joke to us now. We can talk about it and recall some of our more memorable disagreements. Those moments that seemed like the end of the world are now stories I can’t even tell without laughing.
Who would have thought a baby could break over twenty years of anger, resentment, and jealousy between two people? I have learned that it is never too late to mend a broken relationship. Love can defeat any obstacle.