Friday, June 8, 2012

My Son, My Little Brother

My son making silly faces, like my brother used to do
Contrary to this post’s title, it is not going to involve a topic worthy of a day-time talk show. Nor will you find this story in any of the tabloids that litter the checkout aisles at the supermarket. Rather, it is a tribute to all the mothers who have ever realized that God has a sense of humor!

When my son was a newborn baby I couldn’t help but dream of all the joy and fun we would share together as he grew from a baby into little boy.  I envisioned the sweet, smiling baby in my arms growing into an adorable, loving toddler . . . full of energy, giggles, and kisses.  He would be my little helper, always eager to help out around the house.  Of course, I was prepared for the occasional spirited temper tantrum and messes that could rival natural disasters.  However, neither my babysitting/daycare experience nor the best parenting materials available could ever prepare me for the truth I would discover a year later.

I am not even sure when exactly it happened.  But one morning I awoke and realized in horror my sweet bundle of joy was turning into my little brother!   It started with an annoying poke here and a little childish taunt there.  Then, it progressed to a fascination with everything revolting and disgusting.   Now my six year old is steadily becoming a master at getting under my skin as only my younger brother was once able to do.

My son’s little antics are constantly resurrecting memories of my childhood.  My brother was and still is a relentless instigator and prankster.  Even though I love my little brother dearly, sometimes I swear that his primary purpose in life is to drive me insane!   I have endured years of punches, boogers, farting, pranks, and teasing at the hands of my brother . . . and now that I’ve finally gotten away from it on a daily basis, my little boy is taking over?  Where is the justice in that?!?!

The craziest part of all this, though, is the fact that my son developed into my little brother’s clone, almost entirely away from my brother’s influence.  Since my brother was an MP in the Army for several years, he was away from the area except for occasional leaves.  As such, I have to wonder if somewhere in my family’s genetic makeup, these traits are hidden somewhere, waiting to be released.  Could there be an annoying little brother gene lurking inside of me somewhere?

Whether it is nurture, nature, or a combination of the two, I have to laugh at how no matter how hard we try to distance ourselves from our past, it can pop back up again in strange, unexpected ways!

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