Dear Annie: I am a 13-year-old boy and can't talk about this with anyone I know.
My father isn't in my life. It never mattered because I have the best older brother anyone could ask for. "Tommy" is 21, and he is my hero. He helps me with my homework, teaches me about life, takes me places, protects me and loves me unconditionally.
But here's the problem. I think I'm in love with him. Is that possible? He's all I can think about. I'm not gay. I like girls. I have never felt this way about any other guy. Tommy has a girlfriend, and they plan to get married. He's never done anything to make me think he has other feelings for me, although he's very affectionate. He gives me hugs and kisses the top of my head. Is there something seriously wrong with me? Should I tell Tommy how I feel? I really love him with all my heart. - Little Brother
Dear Brother: Thinking you are in love with a sibling is actually not that uncommon. When you are 13 and going through a great many physical and hormonal changes, it is easy to think that the strong, loving feelings you have for Tommy may be romantic in nature.
You admire him, appreciate him and want to be close to him. The important thing is to understand that these feelings will be replaced by more appropriate ones as you get older.
Until then, you can discuss these feelings with your Mom, your school counselor, or a trusted adult relative or neighbor.
Editor's note: Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.