**Note, I use the term my mother, not our mother just out of sheer habit. My mother said someday she and my father will go kapootz, and all we’ll have is each other.
This post is for my little brother. I am proud of him and the intelligent man he has become. He was a skinny kid. The good kid. My mother’s favorite. He’s still a skinny kid. He’s still a good kid. But who am I kidding? I’ve always been and still is my mother’s favorite! In my opinion, these are all facts 🙂
Growing up, I hated my brother. I would beat him up in fury and rage while my mother would always come to his defense. Life was unfair as the first child of an immigrant mother who would use harsh discipline on me, and not him. He was a smart kid who didn’t cause trouble like I did. I remember confiding to an adult in high school, Ms Rustom, and she told me someday I would understand the bond of a brother. I told her she lied. But today, I can see her truth.
I think my brother and I have a great relationship. It’s because we communicate with each other and for each other.
We’re each other’s advocates. In the previous post, we both had issues with the generational and cultural and language difficulties between us and our parents. We support each other to become better sons to our parents by personally speaking to them when one of us can’t. I helped him through my dad’s involvement purchasing a house. He gave me my parents’ birthday dates according to the lunar calendar in Gregorian calendar dates.
I am still a big brother, but hopefully not always an ass. We teach each other ways to become better adults, based on our own experiences. Credit card companies are evil corporations that make money from over spenders and late payers, so it was understandable he didn’t want one. I look out for him, and one way many years ago was to help him understand building credit and getting a credit card, and milking the credit card companies without ever paying them a single penny.
Another reason for our great (my opinion) relationship is because of the frankness we have with each other, either in person or through email or a text message. Most of the time I’m an asshat and he gets annoyed at me because sometimes my jokes go overboard and I embarrasses or disrespect him. We love each other, but we get on each other’s nerves sometimes – and that’s okay. He tells me how he feels about a specific action I did, and how he would like me to be better. This demonstrates his maturity as an adult. It’s only with this honesty that I can be a better brother to him.
I’ll end with the title. In all relationships, communicate. Whether in friendships, romantic relationships, work relationships, or anything else. Respect each other, and don’t keep conflict bottled up. There’s no right to complain about someone’s actions if you haven’t done all you can to address the problem.
I have three little kids I feel responsible for as their Uncle. These siblings, like me, were not taught to settle disputes on their own, avoid tattle tailing, apologize, and compromise. There’s no tattling around me, and they have to handle their own problems. When they apologize, they have to do it maturely. I’ll talk about what does an apology mean in another post.