Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chapter 11

I don't believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. 
It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. 
Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.
~Maya Angelou

My brother is a test question.

On every cardiac exam I've taken, my brother's heart condition doesn't fail to make an appearance.

He was diagnosed with Wolff Parkinson White at a young age. Because he was so delicate and we couldn't agitate him, he was treated differently which led to being spoiled.

My brother has a complex personality. He's a constant tug of war of opposites. He's an intelligent young adult who has this facade of a lazy thug. He's a sweetheart who pretends to be a player. He splurges on high end products when he's a product of middle class.

At one point, my brother and I couldn't stand the sight of one another. We would fight, bash each other against the wall and wish the other would just disappear. Presently, we've reached a happy medium where we enjoy each other's company, vent our emotions and have sporadic conversations about life. He encourages and pushes me to reach my goals. However, when I try to suggest weight loss or not buying Louis Vuitton, he throws the ball right back and tells me to focus on my own goals.

Not everyone understands my brother . Actually, not everyone takes the time to understand my brother. Instead they fixate on his negatives and criticize my mother's parenting skills.

As my brother picked me up today and drove my car, I was just in awe how quickly he grew up. Here I am yelling at Junior about his reckless driving and he's yelling back that I'm just like mami. With him I learned the art of compromise. I can't impose my views much less measure his success against mine. We may have been born from the same parents, grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same school but our life experiences are vastly different. I can't expect him to do things my way, my parent's way or any other person's way. I accepted his way.

Lesson Learned: Teenagers are complicated (duh!). You need to constantly play tug of war until a balance is met. As much as you only wish the best for them, they need to learn from their own mistakes. Let them have some independence but of course with firm guidance. You can only learn to ride a bicycle by taking off the training wheels and being there for them when they fall.

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