I look forward to spring break all year long. Even if it is spent with just my family in an old condo, it is and opportunity to meet new people, go fishing with my dad, and of course it is great to leave the frigid air of West Michigan in April. Thinking about the car ride down is slightly daunting because spending twenty four hours straight with just my family in a 1994 suburban with broken air conditioning is not my definition of an enjoyable time. The thought of finally making it to the sunny beaches of Daytona, Florida kept me sane on the ride down.
After spending enough time with my brothers to last an eternity, I avoided them and hung out with people I met on the trip. Laying by the pool, playing a pick up game of football, or just taking a nice run on the beach was more my thing. I did what I wanted to do while my brothers were hanging out together. This is how most of the break was spent until Saturday, the day everybody packed up to head home.
Since most people my age had already left, I decided to play games in the pool with my brothers. My parents had gone up to our condo to make dinner and us kids were going to finish our game of “sharks and minnows” before joining them. It was a blast to play, but apparently was too loud for one cranky old lady sitting at the edge of the pool. This lady told my brothers they needed to “shut the hell up” and then proceeded to ask my seven year old brothers if they were coming back next year. When they answered yes, she said “Crap (with a slightly different word), I wish you annoying little kids were never coming back.” It shocked me how somebody could say this to my brothers. How are four kids supposed to defend themselves when somebody says something like that? I believe protection and security comes from family.
I will never forget the hurt I experienced from words that were not even meant for me. How could somebody be so heartless to say that my little brothers? I shot out of the pool and, as respectfully as I could bear, argued with this lady. Doing all I could to stay within the boundaries of teenager talking to an adult, anything and everything I could think of flooded out of my mouth. I was determined to make sure this lady would never belittle my brothers again. When my tirade was finished, I stormed up to our condo and locked myself in my room. I needed to be away from people and cool down before I snapped at somebody I cared about. That pain of somebody being a jerk to my little brothers is a feeling I hope I never feel again.
I believe that family bonds are stronger than anything else in the world. The sense of protection between big brother and little brothers can overpower all circumstances. Did I ever treat the people I love like this? This lady proved to me the need for the people you love to be involved in your life. The moments are countless when family is needed to provide support or to let you know there really are people that love you. When a relationship takes a turn for the worse, many times family is the first place to turn to. It is always a welcome sight to see your family waiting in the stands for your sporting event to begin. I will never forget this lady by the pool. She has shown me the importance of family and how the friendships between brothers are meaningful, even though they may not always seem like it.