I have a sort of estranged relationship with my brothers. I left home when they were about 13 and 11, and we haven't all lived in the same city since. It's slowly changing, but in my mind's eye, they are still little boys.
When I started seeing them on a more regular basis a few years ago, I had dreams about them being very small, but I'm an adult. I am always supposed to be taking care of them in these dreams, and I always let them down. Very stressful. Luckily, the dreams faded as we spent a bit more time together. These days they are adults. Grown men with careers and responsibilities. They don't need for me to be in charge. They don't have expectations of me, so I can't let them down. Very liberating.
My brothers are both very good men. Honest. Honorable. Funny. Handsome. They live in the same city, but their paths don't often cross these days. That seems so strange to me because I remember them as small boys who slept in a pile like puppies. I can so clearly see their bright, blue eyes and silly grins as they moved (tumbled, ran, yelled, laughed...) through childhood together. I was always the one on the outside. I was older. I was a girl. I was often in charge... and in truth, I kept myself distanced from them. I wanted nothing to do with their boyish noise and energy. I desperately wished to be an only child.
It's nice to get to see them now, but it's kind of weird to feel our way toward a bond. We're waaaay too old to fall back on remembered behavior patterns - which is a blessing. We have to forge new ways to communicate and are forced to look at each other with new eyes.
I am grateful that our bond wasn't completely severed by time and inattention. I hope that they like grown-up me as much as I like grown-up them.