When I was little, I always wished I had an older brother who would show me how to take a slap shot or throw a curve ball or stick-up for me. I was “older-brother” deprived.
As a solution to my problem, I would go to a neighbor’s house and I would bug the neighbor kid who was seven years older than me. I wanted to play with him, but he always mistreated me. He threw dog poop at me once and ditched me and one time he took my skateboard and never gave it back to me.
Yes, I was “older-brother” deprived, but on November 9, 1996 new hope was born. My little brother Owen arrived. He’s five years younger than me. I decided to try and be that older brother I never had for my little brother Owen. Luckily Owen is a pretty agreeable kid who is happy to do the things I come up with.
My older-brother responsibilities didn’t begin until Owen got to grade school. I would walk him to and from school every day. I would make sure he didn’t get lost, in trouble or run over. I would keep him safe from bullies.
I’ve always felt I needed to keep a watchful eye on Owen. I don’t know why, but I’m always afraid he might get hurt or something might happen to him. Sometimes I feel like I’m one of his parents watching over him.
Now that Owen is older, I like to spend more time with him. And I really like to play sports. So we spend most of our weekday evenings and Sunday afternoons playing sports together. I’ve played most of the real sports such as hockey, basketball, soccer, football and tennis. Everything I know about sports I learned on my own. I feel I have a responsibility to teach Owen all the things I know about these sports.
Most of the time we have a lot of fun together. Owen’s athletic ability has deepened. My older-brother skills are improving too. I’ve learned I have to be patient and not too hard on Owen. I’m sure I will continue to have new older-brother responsibilities in the future. In some small way by being a good older brother to Owen, I’m being my own older brother to myself. I’m grateful to have a younger brother. And Owen just wants me to be proud of him. And I am.
Everyone could use a big brother sometime in their life. If you have a chance to be someone’s big brother, you should step up to the plate. This I believe.
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