Oh my goodness. My little cousin Michael is an adult now, and has been for some time. He’ll be 20 in October. Wow.
I never had a real sibling growing up, so back then, Michael was the closest thing I had to a brother. He’s eight years younger than me, and has some psychological/behavioral issues—so, although I always loved and respected him, it wasn’t until he was well into his teens that I felt I could connect with him in a “grown-up” way.
Of course, after Mom married my first stepdad, I had two stepsisters and two stepbrothers, but only felt even remotely close to my one stepsister, Dawn, who was two years older than me. And once I was in college, Mom married Gary, at which point I got Philip as a stepbrother. He’s two years younger than Michael, but more socially well-adjusted. (Well, maybe I should just say he’s not autistic like Michael and leave it at that.)
Anyway, I didn’t really have the same kind of relationship with any of my step-siblings like I did with Michael, because I never really lived with them. I only lived with Michael until he was about four, but after Mom married Tom and we moved out, we still came over to visit every Sunday after church, and sometimes during the week. Then, when Mom divorced Tom, we moved back into the same apartment complex and would see or talk to the rest of the family multiple times a week. We were really a close family back then.
Now, look at us. Mom and Gary in Parma, me in Toledo, Sammie with her significant other in South Carolina, Michael nearby in a boys’ home, Memaw dead and gone, and none of us really keeping in touch very much—except when Mom and I talk every now and then, and visit on holidays and special occasions. There’s something kind of sad about that.
But I’ve strayed from my point, which was how much my little cousin Michael has grown. My goodness.