I was trying so hard to get used to the idea of my little brother getting older. For the past three months I was going around in a stupor, repeating to myself “Bub’s going to be twelve soon. Bub’s going to be twelve soon.” I convinced myself of it. Then I got home and discovered he was only going to be eleven and I picked him up in a huge hug and yelled “Thank god! You’re too little to be big!”
Time really does go by faster as you get older, huh? Or maybe it’s just because I’m not in grade school anymore.
We didn’t have an enormous party for him since it’s a Tuesday and he and my sister have school tomorrow, but there was food and a campfire and s’mores and extended family who asked me the usual questions about what I’m doing with my life and whether I’m going to be “an educated bum”. Yes, those were their exact words. For some reason, tact doesn’t seem to apply when it’s family.
Five-ish years ago I did an exchange with my exchange partner Joëlle. She came here for three months and I spent three months in Quebec with her family. We became close and we each learned the other’s language better and it was an experience I’ll never forget.
Today, her brother is staying with us before his flight in the morning. He’s been hiking around Alberta while I’ve been exploring Paris. We traded pictures and stories of each of our trips and caught up and stuff.
My mom has friends that she’ll meet after not seeing them for twenty-five years or something crazy and they’ll talk as if not a day has gone by. Every time I return from England, I slide right into where I was in our family dynamic and things go on as they always did. It’s crazy how relationships can work like that. It’s like going back in time. And I know there are friends who I’ll see at a high school reunion or something and I just won’t be able to talk to properly because it would just be weird, but there are also friends who I haven’t seen in years, like Joëlle, who could knock on my door and crash on my couch even if I hadn’t heard from them in decades. I feel really lucky to know I have those kinds of friendships in my life.