Fayetteville, N.C. — “UGH! I hate Eli! Why did I have to have a stupid brother????”
My daughter was stomping around the house, decrying the latest act of mischief committed by her sibling — a deed that we are all meant to believe occurred completely out of the blue and without provocation.
What was it this time? Take your pick: We have classics like the reading of one’s diary and the hiding of one’s favorite, can-never-be-replaced teddy bear.
We have the typical, every day squabbles: She ate the last candy bar, he got to ride in the front seat last time, why does she always get to stay up late?
And then we have the fights unique to the New Age: he broke my earbuds again, she took my charger and my game was ruined.
If anything can reassure us that some things never change, certainly it is the life and times of brothers and sisters. We’re forced to share parents, and space and stuff, and, you know, air ….. so of course, we are going to have our problems.
And when you’re young and your life is all diaries and teddy bears, or iPads and game systems, it can seem like the end of the world, this being forced to co-exist with people against your will.
I’ve tried to explain to my 10-year-old that if she ever needs a kidney, her brother is her best shot, so she should be nice to him. Funny, that warning never really resonates.
So instead, I’m compiling a list for her — the reasons why I wanted her to have a brother, in hopes that one day, she’ll finally understand.
- A brother will be there to say you deserve a better love.
- A brother will help pick up the pieces when you don’t listen to his advice and your heart is broken.
- A brother will know what to do when you wreck your Dad’s car and you’re scared.
- A brother will assure you on your wedding day that no bride ever looked more beautiful.
- A brother will love your children nearly as much as you do.
- A brother will be the shoulder you’ll want when your parent is gone.
- A brother will know everything there is to know about you — and will love you anyway.
Am I romanticizing things a bit? Guilty as charged.
This may not be my reality, but I guess that’s why it’s my dream for my children: That when they are no longer forced to co-exist, they will choose to be together, every chance they get.
I can’t imagine anything making me happier.
Jennifer is a mom of two, WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville and author of “Designated Fat Girl." She writes about motherhood and family-friendly events in Fayetteville here on Go Ask Mom.