“It’s good to be the little brother”

Wow, that is a statement I never thought I would hear from my youngest, but yet, last week there it was.  It was said the minute he got in the car after a morning of football camp at our high school.  He was sweaty & tired, but definitely happy.  His happiness was due in part to the simple fact that his big brother just happens to be a freshmen football player this year and, as my youngest walked up to check-in to camp, the football coach said, “I already have you checked-in Minglin—I saw you walk up with your brother.”

Yes, his brother.  His brother is the boy that terrorizes him on any given day of the week by taking away his baseball glove, pushing him off the couch while he tries to play a video game or hiding in the darkness of a hallway to scare him.  He is the boy who doesn’t want Jack around when he is hanging with his friends or when he’s watching TV.  If you were to ask Jack to describe his big brother in one word, it would probably be ‘mean’ or ‘stupid’.

Yet, last week, this was the boy who made Jack happy.  This was the boy who walked up to his little brother in front of all the really cool high school football players and coaches and said, “Coach, this is my brother Jack. He’s here to play football.”   It is one of those moments you cherish as a mom—a moment when you realize behind all the ugly words and fights, there really is a deep, loving bond between siblings.  And although there will continue to be brotherly turmoil in our household (truth be told, there was brotherly turmoil pretty much the moment we got home from camp), I am certain that Nate will always have Jack’s back in the real world—and that’s where it counts the most.

Jack’s right, it’s good to be the little brother.



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