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My Brother Goes to Cairn Too

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Kyle Castner— that’s him. My brother. No, he’s not my twin. I’m a year and a half older. Some people say it’s the eyebrows that make us look alike, others say it’s the mouth. Honestly, I have a hard time seeing the resemblance most of the time.

Kyle and I have attended the same schools together since elementary school: two different private elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. We’re separated by two grades, myself as the older sibling, he as the younger. But my entire grade school experience has been somewhat punctuated by the presence of my little brother. And now, here at college, he’s seemed to have made an appearance yet again.

And I love it.

Picture Credit: Bob Castner
Picture Credit: Bob Castner

Growing up, it was just the two of us; we had no other siblings to cause trouble with. We were each other’s main source of entertainment and each other’s main playdate. And, in my opinion, each other’s best friend; quite frankly, I’d like to think we still are.

In grade school, we saw each other everyday. Our parents drove us to the two elementary schools; one school demanding a 45 minute commute both directions. Although we were only together in middle school for a year, our days were bookended by bus rides in the mornings and afternoons. Once we reached high school, however, things changed.

I found my identity, he found his. I found my friends, he found his. But whenever I turned the corner of the hallway, and saw him standing by a locker, he’d pause what he was doing and come over to hug me. Yeah, Hallmark-like, right? But it’s true. Most of our friends who were siblings avoided each other like the plague, it seemed. They were often embarrassed of each other, for some reason. Not Kyle. He would often make a bee-line toward me and give me a bear hug in between Chemistry and Spanish. And that lasted for the two years we were in high school together. Am I bragging? Yeah, I suppose I am.

And now here he is, roaming the same college halls with me. It was strange at first, I’ll admit, having my little brother away at college with me. I had established my “home away from home,” my “school world” that was completely disconnected from my “home world,” and here was someone from my home life permanently puncturing my school life. It took some time to get used to, but I have to admit, attending college with my brother is pretty great.

During the day, I get to meet up with him outside my classes or his classes, or have “catch-up” conversations with him at his dorm site. Occasionally, I get to eat a meal with him, run into him and his friends, or have him over at my apartment to watch The Office, help with homework, and hangout with my friends.

But the best part of having him here at school with me? I get to continue to watch him become the man that God’s shaping him to be, and more of “Kyle.” Growing up with Kyle and attending the same schools as him, I got to see him make a lot of mistakes, share in a lot of successes, and be there alongside him for it all. Okay, I’m sure I’m sounding like a sappy older sister, but I love my brother. And I think it’s pretty amazing he’s here at Cairn with me.

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1 Comment

  1. Janet O'Toole
    November 16, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Kristen I love and miss you a lot and can’t wait for a visit at Thanksgiving or Christmas!
    Love this article about growing up with Kyle!
    Give him a hug for me!
    Love you both and may our God continue to bless you and keep you safe. You are each other’s guardian angel! (Smile) and that’s a great thing! ❤️
    Ms.OToole