As a young boy, I didn’t really know that my brother was so odd. Sure, he always seemed a little too jovial about things other people could care less about, while overly anxious and upset about matters which most paid no mind to. But he was my baby brother, so I just figured that’s what little kids were like. I still had no problem wrapping him up in torturous wrestling holds I’d seen on TV, or snatching the last chicken wing at the dinner table before he could get it. In retrospect, I realize it wasn’t typical for a boy to ride his bike up and down the street while singing to himself for a couple of hours straight, but, again, I just thought of him as my dumb little bro. Nine years his senior, he was the sibling that I had been begging my parents to produce for years. Generally speaking, I was pretty content with what he added to our family.
It wasn’t until I started being asked to come translate for my parents during his parent-teacher interviews that I knew something was up. There always seemed to be another meeting or a new letter from the school. It all made only the vaguest amount of sense to me. After a while, I just found it annoying. “What’s the big deal?” I used to wonder. “He’s extremely weird and embarrassing, I know. In other words, a little brother!”
Then he hit puberty.
That’s when my brother started becoming… a problem.