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I love my brother. He’s a pain in the neck (and I’m a pain in the neck), but I love him.

He’s younger than me (only a couple of years), and I call him my “kid bro.” You sort of have to do that when he’s taller than you and frequently mistaken for the older one. Yeesh. The only time I was mistaken for older than I am was in Poland. But the girl’s English wasn’t great (and my Polish, even worse), so I think that had something to do with it.

We’ve always been close. All our cousins are older (by quite a bit), and so we were each other’s playmates.

I’ve always been the older sister, but over the years, that has changed somewhat. I’m fairly self-sufficient, and usually the one taking care of other people. One time when we were rafting on some rapids and the raft nearly flipped, Mom has this distinct memory of me holding onto the raft with one hand, and holding tightly to my brother’s wrist with the other. On long camping trips, I’d bring all sorts of toys to keep my brother occupied. And when I learned to tell time, I’d help my brother count down the minutes until arrival.

Some of that’s changed over the years. He’s the one who gives a guy friend of mine a talking-to when the guy isn’t nice to me. He’s the one who offers to drive us to church for Easter. He’s the one who includes me in his friend group and their various outings.

The stereotype of older/younger siblings has changed in other ways too. For example: I’m the one who is all pesky nowadays. Mom calls these my “sassy” moments. It could be just about anything. It’s 10am and I’m wide-awake and ready for the day. Kid bro has been up late working, and he’s sleeping in till the afternoon (Only slightly exaggerating here). Who decides to sing (or threaten to sing) “Deck the Halls” at the top of her voice? Yup. Me. Who gets into his favorite snack food that has “Ian” written on it? Me again. Who gives him a hard time about his morning hair? Mhm. Me.

Thank God for brothers, whether they’re older or younger, or just act older when we need them to. God bless us all.