When I turned 10, my youngest brother (Brother 3) was only a few months old. I remember feeling so much older than him. When I was in high school, he was in pre-school. I got my driver’s license when he was in first grade. It was odd. He was so little and it seemed like such a big difference in our ages, I thought I would never get to know him. A ten-year age difference really seemed insurmountable. I need to take a minute here to pause and just comment on how much I enjoy the word insurmountable – I also love proving the opposite of that word.
As we grew older, Brother 3 started to slowly join the ranks of adults. That 10 year gap seemed to close. He had a job. He had bills. He had responsibilities. Now that he could have a beer (legally), he seemed to be more like an adult. We were able to have conversations about adult things. He slowly discovered Monty Python, Doctor Who, classic movies (that came out when I was a kid I might add), pop culture references finally made sense to him. It was like he was finally a member of the adult club. I have to admit, he’s still my baby brother who still has a lot of life lessons to learn but because he’s in his early 20s, he thinks he knows it all. When those instances come up, the instances where he knows more than I do, I sometimes find it hard to keep my mouth shut. I have ten more years of experience than him. I’ve made a few mistakes in life. I’ve learned from them. I have some knowledge from those 10 years that could benefit him. However, because I’m older and he thinks that the three of us (my other two brothers and me) pick on him, he doesn’t always listen to what those ten years have taught me.
At times like that, when he gets a little overly sensitive about advice or I give it a little bluntly (which I will admit I sometimes do), I realize that 10 years is a long time. There’s a lot that can happen in 10 years. Looking at the 00’s, the “aughts” if you will, I graduated college; worked a couple of different jobs; I bought a new car and paid it off; I went to Europe; I met my husband; I had my daughter. I’m sure there’s a lot more, but even those life events are pretty major for a 10 year period. Think about how much can happen in a 10 year period. Seeing those things listed makes me realize it was a long time, even if it feels like it was just yesterday. 10 years may go by quickly, but it’s really a long time and if you are living life you won’t realize they have passed until you are looking back on them. Seriously, writing that sentence where I packed in all that stuff I did in a 10 year period was weird. I didn’t realize how much happened – which is odd because obviously I know it happened, I lived it. But it’s just odd that so much happened and I didn’t even blink as the calendar pages kept turning.
Getting back to Brother 3, I guess even though that 10 year gap seems to have shrunk, there still is a lot of time between us. It’s interesting to watch the differences those ten years really make. I suppose it’s only if I choose to acknowledge the differences. I mean, if 1998 was still only about 10 years ago, things can’t be that different, right?