An Open Letter To My (Not So) Baby Brother

Hey Heinrich,

I know how weird this is going to sound to you, but I’m going to start this by saying I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that we still treat you like a baby most of the time, and that we don’t take you as seriously as we should. I’m sorry that you get the short end of the stick in family arguments. I’m sorry that we don’t always include you in adventures and shopping trips—even though I know how much you don’t care for shopping.

But I’m especially sorry that when I look at you, I still picture a little boy and his blanket. You’re a teenager, and you’re in high school, and I’m in denial. You’re the last of us kids, so it is really hard to look at you in any other way than my baby brother. I try to remind myself constantly that you’re not a baby, and you haven’t been for a long time, but I look at you, and see the little boy who would sing Bad Day  in his car seat, and cuddle up on the couch and watch movies with me.

You were a really good baby, as much as I hate to admit it, because you were so damn spoiled. It was clear that Mom always favored her boys over her daughters, but you were also the last addition to our clan. So you were even more special, because you were the baby. I have never resented you for it, but I can’t even lie; I was definitely jealous at some points.

I know how I always say that you’re my Favorite Little Brother, but even if you weren’t my only little brother, you’d still be my favorite. Even though you don’t really showcase it, you’re a really smart kid. And you make me laugh more than anybody else, and you know how much I appreciate that.

I’m sorry that you were the only boy growing up in the house; Rick was too old to stay home and defend you from all us women. But, hey, I think you turned out alright. Growing up with three big sisters has kind of given you an advantage, because you learned to be in touch with your emotions, instead of always just being told to man up. I know you may not like that about yourself, but it truly is a good quality to have. You might even thank us later in life.

I am grateful for every moment we spend together. I think being eight years older than you has made our relationship unique; instead of just playing with you, I grew up changing your diapers and babysitting you and disciplining you. I basically thought I was another one of your parents, most of my teenaged life. So instead of getting to know you as a person, I had these expectations of you and hopes for you.

…I was a weird kid, what can I say?

I’m sorry that I didn’t get to know you during those years. To me, you were just my baby brother, and our age gap was so far apart, in my mind. I probably spent more of my time with Brittany and Jeanette while you were growing up, so we weren’t always as close as we should have been.

Graduating high school changed that for me. I knew I was going to college at the end of the summer, and I feel like that was when I first really saw that you weren’t a baby anymore. It was like looking at you for the first time all over again. (Which, by the way, I’m also sorry about my first encounter with you. I was terrified of the way you looked in the hospital.)

I started really learning about you then, and you were a cool kid. I always knew I loved you, but I really liked getting to know you more as a person than just the baby of the family.

And then when college came, I missed you a lot. You know, you don’t see any actual children when you go to college, so that part of my life was missing. So when I came home to stay two years later, we picked up where we left off.

I loved that you came with dad to pick me and my stuff up. I hated that you looked older. Not much, because you hadn’t hit puberty yet, but you still didn’t look like a kid anymore. It was weird at first, but I got used to it pretty quickly.

Which, by the way, I’m also sorry for our genes. You’re probably always going to be a shorty (no thanks to Dad), but I hope you at least become an inch taller than him. I’m a girl, so being short is totally okay with the world and myself, but I know that you’re really insecure about it, so I’m sorry in advance, for any asshole that uses your height against you. Your height doesn’t make you the person you are.

But your cleverness and goofiness do.

I know that people like to tell others, “don’t ever change”. Especially in yearbooks. That saying is overused and redundant. What I want to tell you is to not be afraid of change. Change is good. Change is inevitable. You will change, and you will grow. I hope you change, because I want to watch you grow.

I don’t think you realize how proud I am of you. I may not be at every one of your games or award ceremonies, but I am always cheering you on. You are smart, and you are funny, and you are honest, and you are good. If there is anything that I wouldn’t want to change, it’s that.

You may be growing up, but you will forever be my little brudder. I love you, kiddo.

Love Always,

Amanda


Prompt: Do you have any siblings? For every sibling you have, write one letter to them per day. If you don’t have any siblings, write a letter to your parents about being an only child.

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