Little Brothers Do Suffer

There are so few moments when the little brother gets to be the smart one. So especially if you were never a boy, it is hard to understand why big brothers can’t just let them shine every once in a while.

A few weeks ago, our nine year old showed up the always-in-the-know twelve year old with an American history trivia question. So proud, he grinned from ear to ear, “I’m smarter than you!”

“Oh yeah, what’s the square root of four?”

Rapid deflation of the little guy’s ego. He looked like a wounded puppy.

Then yesterday, I was people-watching from a bench, sipping hot cider on a cold but sunny afternoon. Two brothers about the same age as my boys walked by, and what did I hear from the eldest?

“Oh yeah, what’s the square root of…”

…apparently the twelve year old’s go to question for letting little brothers know who’s in charge.

So later in confidence, I asked my son, “Can’t you just let him think he’s smarter than you in the rare moment when he knows something you don’t?”

“No way!”

The good news for the little guy is that he will catch up.


The Boss of Me

“Mom, do you know how I felt inside my body when you just left me here?” asked my little guy (age 8).

We were pulling out of the school driveway where I had parked to run into the front office. (There’s surveillance video).


“Like I was in charge of something for the first time in my life. When you’re the littlest brother, you never even get to be in charge of yourself.”