Newsletter editor Lily here.

It’s official: My little brother is a college student. It’s a day that we (but especially my mom) thought would never come, and now he’s living in a dorm room with a roommate who plays too many video games, signing up for the anime club, and probably pulling a few late nights to finish assignments he procrastinated. Ah, college kid life.

I’ve spoken in a few newsletters about my brother facing some social and communication processing challenges in the past, so I think we were all a little nervous about and intrigued by how he’d handle college life. Luckily, though, it seems to be going great.

How do I know? In the past seven days, my brother, who either never responds to my text messages or sends me three-word responses with no punctuation, has initiated text conversations with me TWICE. First, we had some back-and-forth about Thanksgiving plans with our mom. And then yesterday, while I was in the midst of a very stressful workday, he texted me to let me know how excited he was because Ash Ketchum, of the Pokemon franchise, finally won the Pokemon league and became a Pokemon master—and it only took 22 years! It was honestly such an unexpected and wholesome conversation (and he texted back and forth with me for a whole 15 MINUTES STRAIGHT) that made my day so much better.

Building relationships with siblings who are far apart in age and interests is challenging, especially if one of the siblings isn’t the chattiest of people. But I think this week was a great reminder that, while it’s easy for me to always look at my brother as a cute little elementary school kid, he’s a 19-year-old adult now. He’s grown up too, in his own way and at his own pace. And perhaps our discussions about Ash Ketchum will turn into something more in the future. (And if they don’t for a while, that’s fine; I was in a Pokemon league as a kid and can handle it!)

His texts were also a great reminder to take a break from the stresses of daily life and talk to the people you care about—so after a day of wrangling some difficult client work, I spent my evening eating a tartufo pizza and talking to my mom for an hour on the phone. A solid week for the Herman fam.

A few of our must-read Chairman Mom threads on siblings:

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