One of the things I wanted most when I was a little girl was a big brother.
Given that I was the oldest child, that was pretty much impossible. I ended up with a little sister instead.
From an early age I was determined to be the best big sister ever — kind of like how I envisioned my non-existent big brother would have been. I did my very best to protect my sister, to ensure that she never had to experience anything the first time, and to be her teacher. She still has not recovered from having two mommies!
When I gave birth to my daughter, one of the things I was most happy about was that she would have a big brother. That one thing I always wanted and never had.
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There was an incident at their school the other day that validated that special relationship between older brother and little sister.
My son is terribly protective of his little sister. This I know. When I picked him up from his class, he immediately started rambling about an incident.
“And [sister] was on the soccer field, and she got kicked in the head! And I was so mad,” he rambled on.
Certainly that wasn’t true, I reminded him. The little kids don’t play on the playground.
When we arrived in her classroom, I asked if she was kicked in the head, almost flippantly since I knew it was so unlikely.
It turns out that she was on the end of their playground, my son’s class on the end of theirs (near each other) playing with a ball. One of the kids kicked the ball, and it did indeed come over and hit her in the head.
The teacher reassured me that it wasn’t a big deal, she cried a little, but it was an accident.
My son went rambling on that he was so mad at his friend and got very angry at him for kicking the ball at his sister and it may have been an accident, but he was still very angry about it.
His anger was evident! I am not sure I have ever seen him so angry and worked up about the inequality thrust upon his sister at being the victim of an accident with a ball!
Once I had him calmed down, in typical older-sibling fashion he turned to the teacher and asked her what her actions had been with his sister? Did she put a Band-Aid on her? And what about cream to make it feel better? Because babies sometimes need cream to feel better.
I finally convinced him (I think) that it is not polite to tell someone how to do their job. (A lesson I sometimes still have a problem with.)
Even though my daughter had been bonked, and my son was angry, I felt a wave of happiness. THIS is how it should be with an older brother. Someone to stand up for you, watch out for you and be there for you.
(And I am ignoring the stories ringing in my head of my poor sister-in-law with her three older brothers and the torment she suffered at their hands!)