As a teacher, it was always amusing to me to get younger siblings of former students, particularly the little brothers of boys. I don’t know what it was, but I can still vividly recall many of these little brothers.
There was something comical about the miniature version with the slightly different face, the bigger smile, the larger teeth, and the oversized confidence.
And now that I have two boys of my own, it’s becoming ever clearer.
Here’s to the little brothers:
The ones who want nothing more than to keep up with the big ones.
The little guys who follow everything their older brothers do.
The ones who wait to hear their big brother’s response before sharing their own opinion and become so conflicted if they don’t agree.
The go-getters who are so determined not only to keep up but to surpass their older siblings with no awareness whatsoever that their smaller, less-developed bodies just physically aren’t there yet.
The young boys who prefer to play with older kids and truly feel they are the same age as them.
The ones who turn everything into a competition and can’t stand to hear if their big brother walked, talked, or had any success sooner than them.
The ones who are hyper-vigilant to their brother’s every move.
They’re competitive, they’re louder, they fight to stand out.
Little brother, I see you.
Sometimes your emotions are bigger than your body.
Sometimes you get a bad rap.
You often get put in your place, shut down, or left out by your big brother.
You want him to notice you.
You want to be able to do all of the things he is doing.
You want to stand out and make your presence known.
But little brothers, you’re so very special on your own.
You taught your older brother a new kind of love and responsibility.
You bring the fun, the playfulness, the comedic relief.
You are a great playmate and friend.
You are earnest, driven, and determined.
Your big energy brings daily excitement.
You don’t see it, but you make him smile every single day.
You’re not aware that he’s always looking out for you even when he pushes you to the sidelines.
You didn’t get to see the joy and relief he felt when he found out he was gaining a brother.
You don’t realize that you’re his best friend.
Your role in this family is just as special and essential as everybody else’s.
Most importantly, you’re your own person and that is why we love you so.
You don’t have to fight for your place. You don’t have to force your way to be seen. We love all of the qualities that make you who you are.
We don’t want a copy of your brother. That wouldn’t be nearly as incredible.
We want YOU. Every unique aspect of you.
Adorable and amazing.
Kind, thoughtful, and caring.
Stubborn, determined, and steadfast.
Little brother, never doubt for one second how loved, appreciated, and important you are. All we want is for you to be YOU.