My daughter had an English assignment recently. She wrote it following a specific format they were told to use. She concisely summarized 18 years of her brother’s life in relation to hers. Towards the end she extrapolates to when her brother will go off to college next year. When she says, “ Mom is crying”, I sure was when I read this. It also reflects the deep friendship that she has with her brother. In her words she mourns the natural loss of childhood and the departure of her brother to college but with her parting comment she leaves the reader with a sense of hope that life goes on and that all will be well. I hope you enjoy it.
My Brother, My Friend
By Clara Petrucelli
Mom and Dad moved to Brussels, Belgium. You were born Christmas Eve of 1997. You were the first child, everything was new. You were so small they didn’t know what to do. You had big blue eyes. You were always laughing. You learned how to walk. You were told you were getting a baby sister. You ate spaghetti with your hands. You played with your Playmobiles and Legos.
I was born on August 16th, 1999. You were an older brother. You always squeezed my chubby cheeks. I always cried. You always laughed and wanted to hold me. You were playing with your toys. I wanted to play, too. I grabbed your toys. You grabbed it from me and said, “not baby’s toy”. You were still little. You were expected to act like an adult.
We moved to Connecticut. You learned how to ride a bike. I learned how to ride a bike. You learned how to “swing” a baseball bat. I learned how to “swing” a baseball bat. You started preschool. We went trick-or-treating. We played pretend secret spy agents. I started preschool. We made snow angels in the several feet of New England snow. We looked for the hidden Easter eggs. You always found the most. You started your first day of kindergarten. I saw you get on the big yellow bus and disappear. I stayed at home and played with my dolls. We learned how to ski.
We played hide and seek. You tied my shoelaces for me. We secretly fed our broccoli to our dogs.
I started my first day of kindergarten. I came to your bedroom, even though the door had a drawing that said, “No girls allowed, only Dad”. We woke up when it was still dark out on Christmas day. We ran down the stairs to see the gifts. We walked around town following the pattern of stones on the ground. You led, and I followed your steps. You went to karate class. I went to ballet class. You started reading chapter books. I was still reading picture books. I looked up to you. We were best friends.
We moved to Pennsylvania. We played in the pool for hours. You tried to teach me basketball. We played Garageband everyday. We bought a Wii together. We played Mario Kart. You told me Santa wasn’t real. You started middle school. You started to have “homework” after school. I rode my bike outside after school. We broke the wishbone together on Thanksgiving. You started reading bigger books. You started to grow out your hair. I got my hair cut. You got your first cell phone. I started middle school. I got my first cell phone.
We moved to London.
We went to Rome. We went to Prague. We went to Paris. We went to Vietnam. We went to Spain. We went to Austria. You started high school in 2012. I could not believe you were already in high school. I thought that 9th grade sounded scary. You warned me about different teachers and who gave harder tests or more homework.
Here we aren’t, so quickly. We move back to Pennsylvania. We both start attending the Episcopal Academy. I start high school.
We no longer have time to play pretend secret spy agents. I am shocked at how much schoolwork there is. Every year you tell me, that the next year is more work than the last. I don’t believe you, but you are right. We sleep in on Christmas day. We don’t run down the stairs to see the gifts, we walk. We go skiing.
We don’t look for Easter eggs anymore. We don’t go trick-or-treating. You drive us to school everyday.
We start visiting colleges.
You start filling out college applications. You get accepted to college. You graduate high school. You start packing for college. It is move-in day and your dorm is all ready. Mom and Dad hug you goodbye. Mom is crying. I say goodbye to my best friend.
I will see you soon.