Earlier today, my younger brother and I decided that the fact that both of us are going through transitional periods in our lives has brought us closer together. Actually, let me rephrase that: Earlier today, my eleven-year-old brother sat down next to me whilst I practiced tricks with my fidget spinner and explained with big words why we are getting close again.

We’ve always been very similar. We both have the same smile, eyebrows, and nose. We share a deep love for reading and Harry Potter. Our sensitivity is a drastic contrast to how the rest of our family deals with feelings. All this combined with my sisters naturally been paired up because they’re twins made it easy for family and friends to see us as a duo. It worked out for a while. I was protective over my brother and he looked up to me. I passed down all my favorite books to him and in turn he gave me an entirely new perspective on the characters. We were almost inseparable until about a year ago.

He got a little more independent. It makes sense—he’s getting older, but it felt weird for him to start liking music and books that he found without my help. He also got a little annoyed with me when I tried to do everything for him which again is understandable, but still the oddest thing to wrap my mind around. I wasn’t used to him being snappy with me so in turn, I was even snappier, which drove us apart.

It was for the best. We both needed to figure out how we fit in in our family without being dependent on each other because the truth is I’ll only be living here for a couple more years—tops.

He spent all of last week at my grandma’s house with our cousins. This isn’t unlike him—he spends a lot of time there because there’s more people around his age to hang out with. The thing that was very rare was him coming home and giving me a huge hug and explaining how much he missed me. I was taken aback. He missed me? We barely talk when he is home. What made him miss me this time around?

I didn’t ask. I thought it would ruin the mood. Instead I let him listen to Grouplove with me while I finished my homework.

We hung out a bit more the next day. He showed me fidget spinner tricks he learned at school and I tried, unsuccessfully, to copy him. He asked me if I was excited to graduate and I shrugged. I asked him if he was excited to enter middle school and he shrugged. The level of uncertainty in our awkward groans would have put Tina Belcher to shame. I summed everything up with a, “Moving on just feels weird,” to which he nodded and changed the subject.

I had never really thought about my brother growing up until it was happening. He isn’t the little kid that used to cry when my sisters called him a cry baby. I learned that he already knows what college he wants to go to and exactly what he needs to do to make it there. Now I know that he’s going through his self-proclaimed “not a phase” emo phase. It has also came to my attention that he’s been under the impression that I am 16-years-old. Honestly bless that child for thinking that.

I made this short-story long and sentimental so let me sum everything up through my tears: I have the coolest little brother ever. I’m glad that if I have to go through an odd transitional period in my life, I have him to stress out and make up fidget spinner tricks with. ♦