Last night, as I sat in the back of my own car, exhausted, head against the window with my jumper’s hood over my eyes, I became a little sad.
A few moments earlier I watched a young woman stand in the rain to talk to her sister.
I’m thinking that it hasn’t been that long since they last spoke, I mean, they live together (and when I say live together, they share a large shed with the rest of their family until they’re house is finished) and seems as though they are constantly messaging each other.
I thought about my own childhood and how much I would have like that kind of relationship with a sibling. My brother’s idea of being affectionate was to tease me for wearing my socks up high, or wrestle me to the ground without notice, punch my arm randomly and tell me all the things I liked sucked.
I remember when I was around 15/16 a boy I had a crush on, who ditched me for another girl, told me my brother came up to him at a party and told him to watch himself. I was surprised to know my brother actually cared about me – to give you a little indication of how closed off he was.
It wasn’t until he moved out of the house and went to university that we started communicating like normal people, and when he moved to the same city as me, he would come to visit and keep me up-to-date with life. These days we can talk on the phone and hold a meaningful conversation when visiting our parents.
I had great friends in high school, but I never really knew how to be close to any of them because I was never close to my brother. I always kept them at arms length and I hardly ever shared my problems with them.
It wasn’t until quite recently that I understand how important it is to have close friends, especially of the same sex. I’ve always wanted someone to be really close to and that need has only grown the older I’m getting.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very close to my partner – he is literally my best friend right now – but when we have difficulties I don’t really have anyone else to turn to. I don’t have anyone to call up and whinge to. If I want to go out for some retail therapy, it’s often with my mother.
I’m not blaming my brother for my lack of friends now-a-days; I’ve just realised that our siblings (or whoever we grow up with) play a very important roll in how well we carve out relationships in our future and how well we relate to others.
So, as I watched a sister talk to another, in the time of their lives when hormones run high and fights are all too common, I was happy for them to have such a good friendship. They are very lucky.