Oh, brother

We may all be brothers and sisters, and on some level I kind of like that idea, but, honestly, I just can’t feel it. I’ve never had a friend, or a teammate, that I’d say was “like a brother” to me.

Then again, I’m an only child, so how should I know what it feels like to have a brother.

I never even had an imaginary friend, let alone an imaginary brother.

Hurray for Captain Spaulding!

As a parent, though, few things beat the feeling that sweeps over me when I see my children take care of each other: the big brother helping the kid sister up on a tree branch by the beach, or the two of them lying on the floor, side by side, laughing at Donald Duck cartoons, and then debating which one to see next.

In peace and quiet, of course.

The one thing that may top that is being completely aware of being in that precious moment, and the gratefulness I feel for knowing that I’m witnessing something special.

Of course, to top even that, my son could run from his sister’s room to my office upstairs, and ask me to follow him to see how he sings. (Yes, I thought you would think it’s interesting I’d want to see him sing, instead of hear it, but in this case, seeing would be the key.)

Then he’d press play on their CD player, and he’d start dancing to a song about big brothers. An ode to big brothers. And with every line, he’d make gestures that fit the lyrics, and – in his mind – his personality.

Like this:

A big brother is somebody you like, who’s got bigger shoes and who knows other boys.”

(Pointing to his shoes, then all around him).

“He’s not afraid to pat a cow, and when he lies, everybody believes him”.

(Big smile, then a slightly embarrassed, even shy, look to the floor).

“A big brother lives where you live, and if he’d go away, you’d miss him, your big bro”.

And then he’d hug his sister, and they’d dance tango together.

That would be great. Actually, it was great. Even the tango.

It must be great having a brother. And a sister. And a brother who loves having a sister who loves having a brother. Even when he gets mad when she just .. doesn’t .. get … anything!

I think I might have to get an imaginary brother now.

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How does that make you feel?