Throughout the years, Lance and Jason have been equal parts annoying brothers, partners in crime, role models, and close friends to me. Though they still remain all of those things, the latter term seems to be most accurate these days. I can remember back to a Friday night in September during my senior year when we suddenly stopped connecting solely as siblings and started communicating more like confidants. They had both come home for the weekend to see me in my first play of the season, and the three of us were walking through our old neighborhood to catch the fourth quarter of the high school football game. I can only recall bits and pieces of our conversation—catching up on one another's lives, no doubt, and exchanging opinions on my dad's early plans to move to Colorado—but the feeling I associate with those few moments together is unforgettable. At the time, I was surprised to be regarded as an equal by my much older brothers, who no longer seemed to treat me like their baby sister. It was as if we had all crossed an imaginary threshold into adulthood and were conversing as such: reminiscing about past memories, confiding in one another about our futures, and once or twice poking fun at "Marty and Karen" for no other reason than to have a good laugh.
My relationship with my brothers changed that night, but in the subtlest of ways. We still pick on each other, of course, and every once in a while we'll fall into that old habit of acting our shoe sizes instead of our ages. (Lance, I'm looking at you.) But at the end of the day, we're just a few good friends with a mutual respect for one another that goes beyond familial. And let's be real, nobody else can make me laugh until I cry quite like they can.