I have three brothers. Actually, two are half brothers from my dad's 2nd marriage - but since we are a patriarchal culture, I just call them brothers.
The oldest, who is 20, is doing a semester at ASU. He says he picked ASU because its close to me, but I think that its rank in the top 5 "party" schools contributed to the decision. Either way, he's here.
He and his friends (there are 4 of them altogether) arrived the week before we left for Costa Rica, so we didn't have much time to be together. I did offer to take them to Walmart (god!) on Thursday 'cause they still hadn't purchased sheets, blankets, towels, and pillow (oh to be 20 and not care about pillows!). I also talked them into buying some breakfast items and treated them to some vodka. The drinking age in Australia is 18, so they are having a hard time dealing with this 21 thing. It didn't take them long to learn that the US is a lot more lax on rules than Oz (lesson 1).
That shopping spree was an interesting experience. They are less mature than I was at that age. I think it may be because they live in a close, closed, strong community of ex-pat south africans. They all still live at home, and they are all mid to upper middle class, so no stress about money, things, or responsibilities. I think this was the first time in their lives they ever thought about why they might like the pillow they use at home and what characteristics they should pick in the purchase of a new one.
I don't plan to see this gang of boys very often, but I figure every now and again, I'll offer them a home-cooked meal, and the sanctuary of a house and car transport for errands. I don't mind being a mom-sister.
The most interesting part about this is that when I drive around downtown Tempe now, a place I have called home for about 8 years, I see it in very different eyes. I have never really thought about the college community that is its mainstay. Now I notice how far the dorms are from food, how far they are from Mill, how hectic with cars the streets are, and how different this college is to any of the ones I attended. Its also crazy to think that my brother might be in that restaurant over there, or walking down that street, and when I drive past his dorm I can see his door, and imagine that he's asleep or watching TV, or hanging out... right there!
I have invited them over for BBQ this Sunday. I still haven't had confirmation that they are coming. I told him that I knew it was a tall order to invite him to an activity where there was absolutely NO chance that any of them would get laid, but hoped they'd take me up on the offer anyway... 'cause I could guarantee alcohol!