Most individuals have the opinion of the last born child in a family unit to be somewhat spoiled and with a ticket on easy street. Those individuals who are last born may dispute that with there own opinions. My opinion comes from the experience of that youngest child, in a family of four boys and three girls. In my youth are memories of sports, scouting, camping and outside war games that did not involve more than glued particle board and imagination. Being the youngest and following the interests of three older brothers, gave me early opinions of good from evil, hero from foe, and the right against wrong. In all of these activities I was involved in, was a great sense of pride and competition. In my sports there were arguments and vulgarity with physical aggression against the competition, most of which were older and more skilled. In scouting there was a desire to do my best and achieve higher rankings and attaining accomplishments faster than other friends or brothers, in doing this it would make others jealous of my success. When the war games were played with brothers and those in the neighborhood who were older, I was to be on the inferior side, something for the others to shoot at. This pressure to do my best was transformed into a feeling of inability to accomplish anything. When the impossible was done, when I would score a point on a taller more skilled opponent, or out sneak an enemy in the wooded campgrounds, I would chalk one score for my personal endeavors to eliminate those feelings of being useless or weak. The greatest adversary in this childhood memory was a skinny, blonde, deceitful kid that had great abilities in humiliating those who would allow him the pleasure. This boy has great talent and influence on most of those who would associate with him, which gave his abilities more fuel for his fire. He was my older brother, just four years separated us physically but every other separation was beyond years. Closed fist hitting and foul words with concluding laughter, gave my learning youth a bit of a curve. There were plenty of times where my retreat led to another brother who was the elder of us all and was able to defend my pitiful attempts of retaliation, but when the older brothers were out it was game on for the wolf in a sheep’s pasture. So how is it that the youngest and spoiled child gets that ticket to easy street again? Every time I hear it now and see the laughter that follows must be from those who were on the giving end and not the receiving. I believe that life is a challenge for all siblings, but to put a measurement of difficulty depending on your birth placement is pure garbage. The stinky and fowl kind of garbage, the kind that older brothers force upon the youngest to take out because of it’s stank. Even though there were daily battles with this individual, I could not force out of my heart the desire to do what he does and be like he is. I hated myself for a long time because of that desire to forgive him and try again. That may have been the feather under this older brothers nose that he could not swat away, this annoying nuisance that was everywhere he was. This went on for years until he moved away from home and we separated because of aging needs and abilities. In my life I have treated all threats like I did with those in my youth. Protected that which was most valuable in my heart and to not let anyone tell me what I can or cannot do, physically or mentally. This also created unhealthy pride in my character on the side of rebellion. With the help of my mother and other siblings, I was able to let out these dormant feelings of hurt and self abuse. One individual that I thought was long gone happened to be in this session without my knowledge. He saw and heard the child of the past yell and screaming his hurting experiences, while pushing those instructors toward the opposite wall in a roll-playing exercise. This raging person he witnessed in the front to be a result of his actions. The older brother of four years and this youngest child were now able to meet on even terms and accomplish a treaty, a seize fire. Forgiveness was asked in humility and forgiveness was given in generosity. Now in our older years, both being husbands and fathers, can enjoy a long overdue game of paintball. Being on the same team is a nice change and not just with our interest in war game sports, but with our goals in life and hopes for our children. Storming a field of air filled bunkers side by side with paint guns blazing is a testament to our feelings of unity and brotherhood, with a little hostility towards the opposition. I hope that every brother has the feeling of respect and honor towards one another, along with persevering forgiveness, not only in our family communities but in our humanities as well.
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