And we watched the last rocket burst into flames and shoot into the night sky. It soared like a real rocket would. We watched it until we could see it no longer and closed our eyes. We knew this would be it. This would be the last time we watched in wonder as the work of our hands and a few toilet paper insides and cardboard fizzled into the cold world. We were growing up. We didn't want to, none of us did. We had to. Things were changing. We graduated and moved on. Our big brother was getting married. My little brother went to the Navy and my other little brother moved to the place of sand and lights. I stayed put because I had a child on the way...at 18 years old. I was that guy that did that thing that made that person that I love so dearly.
Stepping out into the world isn't something that has ever been taken lightly by anyone. Mother birds have to push their young out into the wind. Sometimes mother humans do too. Other times, we just want to do what is expected of us, so we get up, and pack our things and walk out the front door. We say goodbye to the things that have meant the world to us and promise to see them again at Christmas.
Something changes while we are gone. Cold seeps in and makes us adults. It makes us proper. It drives a wedge between what we used to love and who we are now. You come home and nothing is the same. The house is changed, the people have moved on, and even the neighborhood has changed it's face. Home feels like not-so-home. You look into each others eyes and you see yourself written on their hearts, but each of you know you can't go back. And you shouldn't go back. These were the days of your youth. It's time to grow up and make yourself a man. But there is a gap between what you should do and the feeling of emptiness that comes when what was once there is gone. There is this middle place where you just want another day to be a kid. You want to make those mistakes one more time.
One of my brothers is gone. One of my brothers isn't gonna make it for Christmas this year. But I have three brothers that will. Looking in their eyes is like seeing into the past and the future. It is seeing these little kids in pajamas trading baseball cards and ripping each other off. It is seeing two pairs of Doc Martin boots standing together with the wind at their backs. Even if currently the wind is forcing us backwards, we see the hope in each others eyes. This is brotherhood.
Photo credit to: http://erinti.deviantart.com
Thanks for reading...Z