When I was born, my brothers were 13 (almost 14) and 16 years old. By the time I was 2, my older brother was graduating from high school, and by 5, my other brother left too, leaving me alone in the house with my parents. I grew up with the memories of my brothers’ childhoods being reflected on, not created.
As I get closer to graduation, I’m watching my brothers and their friends adjust to being adults. Their friends, who would come to our house for dinner when they were in high school, are having babies, buying houses, getting married, and settling down for good. It’s weird. I remember watching them make the mistakes that high schoolers make (through the broken pieces of eavesdropped stories I could gather), and I’m understanding those stories now with firsthand experiences. I remember watching them leave the house after dinner, making the air quiet and still, which is something I do now. I remember when our mom would go run errands and they’d babysit me, and now I’m babysitting the children of families down the street. The cycle of life goes on, with iPhones in our hands in place of Walkmans.
My brothers will soon watch me adjust to being an adult, and the children I babysit for will soon reflect on their childhoods (as I am doing now) and wonder how they made it so far.