I believe there are two quintessential roles big brothers usually fill:
- The protector;
- The harasser.
Am I right?
The former is probably what we who never had big brothers long for: the brother who beats up all the mean kids for us on the playground. Like Rand in The Goonies who picks us up and carries us from danger.
The latter is probably closer to the truth? To the actual reality of big brothers everywhere? ALSO like Rand, the big brother who teases us in front of our friends and calls us on our bologna.
Gideon has always embodied the former perfectly. While there has not yet been a need to beat up mean kids on the playground, he has always had each of his sister’s backs as they tell of their troubles with friends, he is willing to play with them at anytime, he belly laughs with them at all times.
Well, those times are a-changin’.
He’s still always willing to jump with them on the trampoline or play Legos and he has their back in squabbles with friends but he also has added “harasser” to his list of Big Brother Qualities Upon Which He Thrives.
This looks like him standing RIGHTNEXT to Daphne as she sleepily sits at the breakfast table, barely able to eat because she is so tired, him feigning innocence with wide eyes as she musters the energy to scream at him, “Get away from me, Gideon!”
“But Daphne, I’m not doing anything.”
It also looks like him putting on Mia’s prized fedora. “What, Mia, why are you mad? I can wear this hat, too! I look good in it!” (He does not.)
Alllll the while his sisters squeal, he is fighting a smile with a gleam in his eye.
Monday night I strong-armed some friends into a last-minute BBQ on our deck. (Maybe I, too, embody some Big Brother Qualities? Sometimes I can strong-arm with the best of them. heehee. I do not apologize for this ability!) As we sat in the fading sunshine and slight breeze, Gideon looked at me and said, “Mom, I’m going down to play with Daphne and her friends.”
Gideon (only this time said a bit slower, as you might talk to a toddler): Mom, I’m going down to play with the girls on the swingset.
Gideon: Mom! I’m going down to play with Daphne and her friends on the swingset! Don’t you think there will be some harassing going on?
Big Brother Quintessential Role #2.
That boy gets a gleam in his eye and cannot wait to hear the squealing of his sisters; EVEN BETTER when there are extra girls around to squeal. But poor GidGid, that night the girls were too distracted with each other to pay attention to him. In short order he came back up to the deck, sans a single squeal elicited from even one of the little girls.
Last night Shannon and I gave the older two cell phones. After they’d grown tired of texting each other from across the table, Gideon sent four increasingly menacing texts to my sister, my sister who did not know Gideon had gotten a phone. They went something like this:
- Hi Hayley, I know your name.
- I know where you live.
- You live in Wichita.
- [devil-faced emojis]
My poor sister, sitting alone in her house during a thunderstorm that is supposed to produce hail and tornadoes, reading those crazy texts on her phone! But it was really funny, too, I mean let’s be honest. I was laughing so hard I could barely speak the words that he had to tell Hayley the truth that it was him; HE was laughing so hard he could barely understand my barely audible words.
IT’S GROWING. This circle of harassees is growing from this gleeful harasser who lives in my house.
Watch out, y’all.