Thursday, July 22, 2010


I was eight years old when my brother entered my world.  I say entered because that is exactly what he did.  He was born on August 24 of that year.  I found out that he existed on August 26th.  If my parents had known that he wouldn't come home until August 28th, I wouldn't have found out about him until August 27th.  You do the math.  Backwards right.  Usually a child of eight years old knows very well that she is getting a brother or sister months in advance.  Not me.  My brother is adopted.  I had longed for a brother or sister for years when my parents set me down that day in August and asked if I still wanted a brother or sister.  I replied yes.  They surprised me by saying that was good because I had a brother and he was coming home the next day.  To the world, my parents were blessed with a new baby and I was blessed with a little brother.  In my world, I was blessed with a new baby to raise.  And raise him is exactly what I set out to do.  My mom humored me.  Well, she didn't humor me that one time when I was babysitting him and I didn't change his dirty diaper for over two hours and he had an awful rash as a result.  In fact, she yelled at me and grounded me.  That didn't stop me from telling my mom exactly how to raise my brother.  Again, she humored me.  As my brother grew, he had two momma bears to protect him, scold him, and play with him.  One of us also antagonized him. 

Somewhere around the age of 15, my brother warped my world.  He told yelled at me in frustration one day that he didn't need two moms.  He needed a mom and a sister.  My heart broke.  My anger rose.  I couldn't find any words.  That might be the single time in my life that my brother has silenced me. Anyone who knows us well also knows that this is no simple task. 

Over the past several months, I have had the chance to hear my brother say how he intends to raise his child.  He knows what his child will be allowed to do, say, behave, etc.  He knows how the child will be disciplined when the time for discipline arises (which will be often since apples don't fall far from trees!).  I was there once too.  I now completely laugh at that "pre-mommy of my own child" self.  I do my best to humor my brother and just nod my head.  I might or might not have a bruise later for writing that. 

Last weekend, we were having dinner with my several extended family members.  My son was being two.  He was done eating before the meal arrived.  He wanted to do whatever his 9 year old cousin was doing.  He wanted to show his roots and talk at the top of his lungs.  Yes, being two. 

At one point, my son ran from the table and was headed for the front door.  My brother jumped up to go after him.  He was talking very sternly to my son when he returned.  Holy momma bear clash of internal reactions.  Part of me (Kale's momma bear) wanted to protect my child from the scolding he was receiving.  The other part of me (momma beat to my brother) knew that my brother was raised to know how to handle the situation and to let him get some practice because a stern talk from his uncle wasn't going to do long term damage to my son.  My inner momma bears for each of them went to war.  It was a flash moment.  Here and gone within seconds.  I totally wasn't expecting it and it humored me. 

Recently my brother called me Mom Jr. and rolled his eyes.  I rolled my eyes right back and took the title as a compliment.  His day is coming!

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