Being My Brother’s Mother.

by Amelia Kanan

My parents are out of town. For those of you who are new readers: Yes, I’m 30 and I live with my parents. Ok, I’m not 30. I’m 29. But, still. My brother, who’s 25 lives here too. So, it’s kind of like high school again. Our parents, hightailing it out of winter to go golf and run in the sun while the little bro and I get to rue the roost. It’s funny how things change but how similar they can still remain. Although we’re both adults, I seem to regress back into my high school “mom” version of myself. I try and keep in check but I can’t help taking over since my mom isn’t here.

The things I do for my brother when my mom isn’t here:

Cook: My brother likes to eat out all the time. This bugs me. Plus, he thinks my food is “too healthy”. I don’t get offended or upset, I just take this on as a new challenge. After all, it’s my job as an older sister to be his life coach. So, I made this Korean inspired steak. I marinated it in soy sauce, sesame seeds, green onions, ginger root, curry, Tumeric, Cumin, mustard, a bit of honey (not the candy, literally I eked out a bit of honey) and chill pepper. While that was marinating, I threw together some “Veggie Fried Quinoa”. Cooked the quinoa, sautéed some tiny chopped carrots, broccoli, onions and mushrooms. Put it all together, cracked an egg, scramble it up in a little bit of soy sauce. Then, cooked up the beef, served it and enjoyed how much he loved it. However, all he said was “This was sooo good”. Maybe it’s my issue that I wanted to hear more.

Worry about him: Every time he goes out at night, I never fully fall asleep. It’s like how you sleep with kids. You’re always waiting to hear a cough, cry or the door of your room open.

Clean: He actually is pretty good on his own however, I have a clean standard. He and I share a bathroom-toothpast in the sink, shampoo/soap/conditioner grime at the drain of the tub, his little hairs from shaving/trimming on and around the sink, dirty bath towel…none of that seems to bother him like it does moi. Kitchen-Although he takes care of his dishes/glasses, he still allows empties or clean/dry dishes to pile up. Living Room-Doesn’t fold blankets or fluff pillows after using them.

Complain: “Why don’t you want to play a game?” “Amelia! I’m not playing a game with just you. That’s weird.” “No, it’s not. Cards? How about gin?” Our ideas of “down time” are very different. He likes to not talk, watch TV and laugh. I enjoy talking and doing things.

It’s funny though because I think he thinks we’re having a really great time together. It’s a good lesson for me. The lesson: keep my mouth shut. A lesson I’ve been trying to learn all my life. We’re going out to dinner tonight, with one of our best friends, so it should be good for us to get out of the house.

Ugh, the more and more I vent about this, it sounds like I’m married to my brother. Ewww, now I feel icky all over!