3000 Miles Apart
Buzzz. Buzzz. Buzzz. The vibrations of my phone under my pillow telling me its time to wake up. It’s a cold 3:30 am wake up call as I look outside to the pitch-black darkness because not even the sun has lifted its eyes. I throw on a jacket and make my way out the door with my parents and brother as we get into the car. Its airport day, and my brother, who’s been in the same childhood home with me until now, is on his way to Cuba. The drive to the airport is filled with listing off items to make sure he hasn’t forgotten anything. “Phone?”. “Yes”. “Wallet?”. “Yes”….”Chapstick?”, “In my pocket”. The airport is a ghost town as we say our goodbyes and wave when he turns the corner.
Although my brother and I live pretty busy lives and don’t see much of each other, it brings it to a whole other level when he’s almost 3000 miles away. Besides hopefully seeing him at my wedding, Jackson will be gone for at least a year. And after that, who knows what’s in store for him. I am now the last “child” at home, and although my brother and sister-in-law are only twenty-minutes away, it’s still a whole new feeling to be the only one at home.
Driving home had me reminiscing on my childhood with my brothers. My brothers are four and six years older than me, so it was rare that they were seen playing with me. I have a memory of being invited inside their fort that they had just made and it was the greatest honor held by this six year old. Although we quarreled and fought as kids, we grew closer as we reached adulthood and bonded by looking back at our adventures. And now, I just sent one of my brothers off on one of his biggest adventures yet. To say I’m excited is an understatement. I’m thrilled for him. What an opportunity! As we become adults, get new jobs, get engaged, start families, every new thing is an adventure and supporting one another becomes a new trend. You know you’re not kids anymore when your brother’s new job is 3000 miles away instead of the back yard constructing a fort.
I had an awesome childhood, and even though my brothers were quite older, they made my childhood what it was. We grew up on an avocado ranch so our daily activities included climbing trees, fort building and playing hide and seek in the tall grasses that grew in March. With two brothers there’s always the rule follower and the rule-breaker, and I was just along for the ride. Jackson was the rule breaker. One summer afternoon while our oldest brother Joey was away, Jackson and I filled a dirt pit with water and called it our pool….we later got in trouble because the water bill couldn’t have been very pretty. But we had fun and I still remember it to this day, our greatest idea yet! My brothers and I also fought a lot. Being the younger sister, I never left them alone and only wanted to do what they were doing. With the age gap we had, it wasn’t often that we played in harmony. As we grew up that gap seemed to get smaller and we found ourselves talking less about Legos and GI-Joe and more about careers, degrees, and life goals. Funny how time changes things.
With all of this being said, childhood is awesome and siblings are what shape you. They may be frustrating now but someday you’re going to look at your brother get on a plane and wish you could go back in time fifteen years and dive in a muddy pool with no regrets.
Cherish your childhood and cherish your siblings. Your bond is unlike anything else.