My brother graduated from middle school a few weeks ago. Seeing all his graduation pictures on Facebook, it suddenly hit me that he’s no longer the cute little boy running naked all over the house and throwing tantrums when things didn’t go his way. He hasn’t been for a few years now, but seeing him in that graduation robe really made me realise that.
I vaguely remember that day back in 1997, visiting my mum in the hospital and looking through the glass at all the new-born babies in their small cots neatly lined up. I asked my dad, “which one is he?” and he pointed to a tiny baby all wrapped up in his blanket, fast asleep. I might not have known it back then, but I’m pretty sure I loved him from the very first moment I saw him snoozing away in his little box without a care in the world.
Of course he has annoyed the crap out of me countless of times, but what else are little brothers for? When I look back at all the fond memories of the three of us (my older brother, me and my younger brother) playing, joking around and arguing I feel very nostalgic because those days are becoming fewer and rarer to come by now that we are no longer living in the same place. It’s inevitable of course, each of us has to leave the nest and spread our wings sooner or later. But with my younger brother I always wish it could be later rather than sooner.
He will be starting high school in mid-July and the thought of him using public transport all alone to get to school worries me because in my mind he is still the careless boy who somehow managed to leave his schoolbag on the bus and loses a pen/pencil a day. But I know that this is all part of growing up and becoming more mature and independent. Every kid has to go through this transformation. I know I did and my parents probably feel the same way (if not stronger) about all three of us when we were his age now.
One of my earliest memories of him after we took him home is of my dad scolding me because I always forgot to close the door gently and the sound of the slamming door would wake my brother from his nap. That and the time he ran away from my mum after his bath, climbed up the ladder to the roof and scared everyone to death. When I think back to those days, I can’t help but laugh. But no matter where he goes, what he does and however tall he grows, he will always be my baby brother (even when we’re all old and wrinkly!)