One day I walked up to Matt, tugged on his sleeve, made the biggest puppy dog eyes you've ever seen and in my best child's voice whimpered "I Hungey Mamma. Mamma I Hungey."
Yes, I am older than Matt. Yes, I know he is not my mother. Yes, I find that saying utterly hilarious.
Its weird and funny. And I'm told very disconcerting because the voice does not match the girl its coming from.
Matt didnt get exasperated. He only rolled his eyes minimally. Mostly he just looked down at me and went "Do you want a melted cheese sandwich?"
To which I nodded my head vigorously.
I love Matt quite a bit. Which I know some people might think is redundant to specify since he is my brother. But I dont think that being family means you automatically love someone. Or more so, its possible to love someone and completely dislike them at the same time. And really I love all my brothers. But I want to talk about Matt specifically.
Truthfully, since Matt arrived home, I've kinda felt disconnected from him. He's busy with his own life and it felt like he didnt have time for me anymore. And even though I know that as my brother he is required to love me, sometimes knowing the obligatory love is there isnt enough for me. I want closeness.
I had a friend once tell me that I would probably feel less lonely all the time if I had less strict definitions of friendship. And while she's probably right, the boundaries and lines I create make me feel safe. There are different levels of friendship and how much I am expected to care and how much you are able to hurt me correlates with your level. "If you fit into this neat box marked friendship, I know this, this and this about how you feel about me and I know to expect this, this and this from you." I know it sounds neurotic, and while occasionally I wish I was different, it helps me not feel so hurt when friendships fade. Because I compartmentalize it all. And if they're in the "not really friends" box then I dont have any reason to be hurt by the things they do because I had no expectations of them in the first place.
But Matt is not in the "not really friends" box. So it came as a welcomed relief when I arrived home and that night Matt came and laid on my bed and we finally talked. For real and about real things. I guess I hadnt realized what a constant nagging stress his distance had been. Because I need reassurances, especially as things change. We talked late into the night, just like we used to, and he had me take his contacts out (which I'd never done before) and then we went to sleep. Knowing my brother still wanted me around and still valued my friendship, well for me that was the best part of this Christmas.
I'm not sure exactly how it came to be said but during Christmas Matt said during little moments that I was his heart (I feel like it had something to do with the fact that for once in his life he got to experience the slight pang of jealousy when you realize that the person you're dating is friends with your sibling and has their own separate relationship or maybe thats just a side note from the holiday). And though he was joking, I still liked it. I'm Matt's heart, Maikal's excitement and Nicole's good friend. Turns out this Christmas I was a lot of things to different people.
And yes, while we were making shirts Matt painted "his heart" onto my arm. After, of course, playing "connect-the-dots" with the freckles on my arm.
Basically, moral of the story, is I love my brother. And I really loved being able to spend so much time together this Christmas.