when siblings become friends


I'm the oldest in my family, and as a result, I've spent my whole life waiting for my siblings to "catch up." There's an average of about 3 years between each of us - just enough time for each of us to be at different developmental stages at different times. Sure we played together and got along pretty well (for the most part) but as I entered the teen years it got a little difficult to have a meaningful relationship with my siblings, especially my brothers - I loved them, but we were interested in very different things. My sister and I are the oldest and we're exactly 3 years apart, so as we got older we quickly formed a bond into adulthood. My next brother on the far right is 6 years younger than me - quite a gap, and my youngest brother on the far left is a full 10 years my jr. We are now 26, 23, 21 and 16 respectively, and entering what I think is a new chapter in our relationship.
Since my sister lives in Georgia, my trip to Hilo was the perfect time to get to know my brothers more. I know that sounds weird, but remember, I haven't lived with them for almost 10 years. When I left home, my oldest brother was 11. Now he's 21. My youngest brother was 6. Now he's 16. I basically missed their entire teenage life. I know them, but I don't REALLY know the people they are right now. Not only that, but they got to know me more as I opened up to them about things that they couldn't really understand or that they weren't really interested in. I gotta say, it's been fantastic becoming friends with my brothers - having long conversations about life and the future and the past. Laughing and joking and watching them turn into fantastic young men. Seriously girls, I think my brothers are the total package. They are intelligent, sweet, affectionate and wise beyond their years (look at me talking like I'm super old or something). They're better people than I was at their age and I'm just in awe of them.
So here's to all my siblings. I'm so glad we're a family, but I'm even happier that we're friends.
Do you have siblings? How has your relationship with your siblings changed over the years?