My little brother is 23 today.
You heard right, folks. The neighbors let him live. As did his teachers. And the local police force(s). And our parents.
My baby brother is not a baby anymore. Much to his chagrin, he is an all-grown-up big kid with responsibilities and a job and a little family of his own. He is responsible for the well-being of his almost stepson, and he does an excellent job taking care of him. He has worked through some major life problems, and I see him finally getting to the point of actually learning from his mistakes. He is genuinely working on resolving conflict instead of just creating it. He is removing toxic influences. He isn't pushing my buttons quite as much anymore. And, on a bad day when I'm overwhelmed and exhausted and snap at him because I am, in fact, not perfect, he doesn't take it to heart and hold it inside for days.
He just drops it.
He's finally, like, all adult and shit.
I mean, appearances would have you believe that. He takes a child to school and picks him up. He buys him school supplies and food. He goes to work and pays his bills.
He is still, however, heavily invested in dick and fart jokes. That's probably environmental considering that we are all heavily invested in dick and fart jokes. It could also come from being a man and, you know, being a person. Every third thing out of his mouth is a line from Family Guy. Every fourth is a line from The West Wing. In this way, we speak entirely the same language. In other ways... yeah, we almost always speak the same language. Unless he's speaking Uber Dork. Nerd, geek and fanboy I can manage. Uber Dork is beyond me.
So, yes, the neighbors let him live, and, please don't tell him I said this, but I'm kind of glad. He's a good kid, and he's, like, my friend. Like one of my best friends. Like we just talk about stuff. And he comes to me with his problems. And we make each other laugh hysterically. And we high five a lot. And we have a special high five for the two of us. And it's just kind of awesome.
Happy birthday, Little Bro. You make your big sister very, very proud.