A relationship between brothers is as complicated as is each brother individually. For the big brother, becoming a brother is a lot like being slapped in the face. Except everyone expects you to enjoy it.
The little brother has absolutely no clue what is going on and will never realize the turmoil he has wrought about his sibling. He is born content and accepting of his lot in life. He knows nothing else.
To big brother, little brother is a new thing, like a weird birthday toy. New thing is interesting. Big brother picks up the cues of others to learn how to react to the new thing. Big brother is told to kiss it. Big brother kisses it. Where did this new thing come from? It has tiny fingers. It can yawn but not speak. It's kinda loud. Ok, really loud.
But then the new thing is no longer exciting. Big brother may be a little disappointed. It turns out that little brother does not like to play Thomas the Train. The little brother is kinda boring.
For a while, a lot of the smiles are forced. Except for when the little brother does something hilarious. Like pick his nose or toot. And in something as trivial as a bodily function, a love-seed has gently sprouted.
Big brother and little brother, learn their new roles. And as little brother can do more and more, he once again becomes interesting. There is no milestone more sweet than that first moment big brother sees little brother mimicking him. A light bulb goes off. "He is like me," thinks big brother. A lifelong friendship sprouts from that tiny love-seed.
This doesn't mean brotherhood is easy.
Sometimes, there will be a struggle to find enthusiasm.
But is does have its rewards. Like companionship. When you have a brother, you will never have to be alone.
There will always be someone to toughen you up.
To walk by your side.
To share the brunt of Mom's latest "ideas."
In your brother, you have someone to keep awake on Christmas Eve. An ear to catch your excited whispers each time you think you hear Santa.
A brother is someone whose life parallels yours. You start in the same place and collect shared memories. Until the day you each branch off and start new adventures. And then, your brother only shows you what you could be, if only you were different.
He is always there to give you a push.
And wrestle you down when you need it. Sometimes you are on top. Sometimes you are on bottom.
Sometimes, you are just lucky the prank is not on you.
Brothers learn side by side. Each seeing the world from a different angle and opening up the other to new possibilities.
You don't always get it right the first time around. But don't worry. Your brother is there to laugh at you and show you the way. In that order, of course.
Affection often comes in many forms. Sometimes it is reluctant. But always it is there.
In your brother, you have someone to loiter with.
Someone to teach you a lesson in sharing: i.e. that it doesn't always happen.
Someone to party with. To get dressed up with.
Someone to take the spot light when you would rather not.
Someone to share in humiliation.
Someone to squirt water in your face when you need it.
And enjoy the wonders of life.
To laugh with.
To help you create a good thing from a bad situation.
To teach you the important things. Like golf.
And whatever this is.
And to check you for skid marks before the doctor comes in.
Before you know it, your brother has become an extension of you. Big brother. Little brother. The two are inseparable.
The years that separate you are forgotten.
The experience and knowledge of the bigger brother is exchanged for the adoration and the wonder of the younger.
Where there once was an intruder, there is now a best friend. Because really, is it any fun to eat a Ring Pop alone?
And only your brother would want to play half-naked, teeth brushing, laundry-pillaging pirate games with you.
The blood you share is thicker than the tears that occasionally fall. It is stronger than the stubbornness and selfishness that will no doubt arise. Because despite these things, it binds you. Two rivers, running side by side. With just one source but different destinations.