Eight Years

My brother David was born on this date when I was eight years old. It was a big day in our household. It was cool to have another brother but I was glad to be the eight year old and not the baby. When I graduated from college, he was graduating from grade school. We have pictures together in our caps and gowns. I was happy to be the 21 year old while he was just 13. I still felt I had the age advantage when I was able to retire at age 55 and he was only 47 with a long slog of workdays ahead. But today David is 62 and I am 70 and the worm has turned. I finally envy him his youth. I always prided myself on wanting to treat people as equals, regardless of whether I was successful at it or not. But as I review a lifelong litany of sibling grievances, I have come to the conclusion that treating siblings 8, 10, and 12 years younger as equals when I was 16 is inherently unfair to them. When I am 70, those age differences are trivial and my three living and much younger siblings are in position to decide how to treat their older brother in his declining years. I just hope their memories are fading with age.

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