Yesterday I went out to get bagels at my favourite bagel shop. There used to be a lot more of them around, they are a franchise. But they never had the franchisey feel. Growing up, on Sunday mornings, usually after church, we would go to our local bagel place and we’d either eat in or get a dozen takeaway ones for Sunday brunch. Our local one closed years ago and the closest one to my house is actually in another town. But the nostalgia has me heading out there every so often for bagels.
Apparently, I’m not the only one that has this bagel nostalgia, as I ran into my brother and his wife in the parking lot. They were there for the same reason. “You knew about this place and didn’t TELL me?”
It always strikes me a little when I run into my brothers out in the world. I don’t know if it’s Eldest Child syndrome. But it’s such an odd feeling to every so often have one of those, ‘Holy shit. When did we all grow up?’ moments. I know in my brain that we’re all adults now. The babies of the family will be turning 26 this summer. Marriages, homes, ‘real’ jobs, graduations. I knew it would happen eventually, but it still takes me by surprise every so often. We’re all adults now, and we’re all friends. We actually like each other and we like to spend time together.
Growing up, it didn’t always look like we’d grow up to be so close. We’d fight a lot. Sometimes over stupid stuff (The time I accidentally knocked a package of frozen sausages out of the freezer and hit one of my brothers on the head with them), sometimes we fought over not-so-stupid stuff (The time I brought my 47-year-old boyfriend to my brothers’ basketball game and my brother flipped out and questioned what the hell I was doing with someone so much older and who clearly treated me like I was five years old). I’ll be the first to admit I’m not always easy to live with. Some might even say I can be difficult. Ask M. He’d agree (So long as I was out of earshot). My brothers aren’t always easy to live with, either. Yet, the four of us managed to live together for eighteen years, and we’re close after it all.
I’ve often asked my mum how they did it. How she and my dad managed to raise the four of us, with us all being close. Not all siblings grow up to be close like my brothers and I, and I know we’re lucky to have that bond. It’s a bond that I hope my own kids will share someday. My mum’s pretty modest about raising us. She claims she’s lucky it worked out this way. I do remember my mum telling us that we’d never have anyone else in our lives that knew us like our siblings did. That we shared experiences, good (playing basketball in the driveway with our Dad and summers at the cottage) and bad (my dad’s car accident), that no one else would. That we’d share memories that would be ours only and that no one would have our back better than our siblings.
Whatever it was; Mum’s reminders about how special the sibling bond can be, our shared experiences, the blood, sweat and tears my parents invested in us growing up (and hell, to this day, really), I’m really lucky to have not just brothers, but good friendships with them.
Just don’t tell them I said that.