Born six years apart and now thousands of miles apart, my brother and I find ourselves distant. I remember looking up to my big brother. He excelled in sports and was intellectually gifted. Two things that never came easy to me. I used to go and watch his football practices at the high school just down the street from our house. Picturing myself in his uniform as he threw the ball into the end zone, I could feel the high of success as I sat on the hill overlooking the field. I can smell his jersey as I write this now, which I would sometimes put on for the walk home. It wasn't the most pleasant smell in the world, but to me, it was the smell of significance...
I've had the chance to coach, teach, and serve sets of brothers over the years in education. Some who were best of friends and others that didn't speak much at all. While there are many variables to the inter-workings of sibling relationships, one thing always rings true... All siblings are completely individually different. Housing their own funny quirks, personality traits, athleticism, and intelligence, they equally need the foundation of personal investment from teachers, coaches, and administrators. We can often assume or judge siblings based on what one or the other does and that can cause them the undue pressure of positive and or negative expectations.
That six year gap between my brother and I has seemed to increase over the years. A broken family and broken choices made by the both of us have led to that. However, we've recently begun to reconnect. Even though we are separated by California and Atlanta, maybe we can draw near once again, smelling the aroma of significance, as we do...
This song by one of my favorite bands has always made me think of my big brother: Brother- Alice In Chains Unplugged
"Pictures in a box at home
Yellowing and green with mold
So I can barely see your face
Wonder how that color taste"