This past weekend I was reminded of a lesson I learned long ago. You see, growing up I was the youngest in the family. I have two older brothers.
When placed in this environment you quickly learn two things:
1. how to take
2. how to dish it out.
Which brings me to Saturday – it was the end of the soccer season for my children. My Mom was kind enough to invite us over for lunch in between my kid’s games. While there, my brother made an announcement.
“Owen, when you are done eating I have something very special for you. I found it while I was cleaning out my boat. I know none of my kids need it, but you do!”
Now I knew this wasn’t going to be good.
Naturally, however, Owen, finished eating, and quickly walked over to my brother.
As he did, my brother pulled the “very special” surprise from his pocket.
It was a whistle on a string.
Oh, but wait it gets better. Not only did he give him a whistle on a string he also had “very special” instructions for him.
“Now make sure you don’t lose it. Put this string around your neck, so you’ll always know where it is.” My brother was beaming as he continued, “Mom & Dad will want to hear you play it all the time. If you wake up, and they’re still sleeping, take the whistle, and blow it real hard, so you can wake them up! They will love it!”
“No they won’t. I’ll get in trouble.”
“Oh, no. They will like it. Now they may try and take it from you, but don’t let them. This is a very special whistle, just for you.”
All right. It was time to intervene. “That will be a great outside toy.”
As Owen walked happily away with his new whistle, I informed my brother that I had yet to buy his son’s birthday present. His smile suddenly faded for some reason, and mine got a little broader.
After the last soccer game of the season, the kids and I headed to a local store to find a great birthday present for my nephew. We managed to find something that was satisfactory to everyone. Yet, I thought we needed something more, and with a little searching I found the perfect addition to his gift.
When we arrived home, Owen, took his “very special” whistle outside.
An hour later, the whistle blowing continued.
I am certain my neighbor’s loved him!
Sunday morning came and went and before we knew it, it was time to head to my brother’s house. The adults sat around a fire, while the kids ran around and played. It was a nice afternoon. Eventually, my nephew opened his presents. When he came to the present that we had brought, he discovered a gift, which I hope he will enjoy, along with a slide whistle!
Hey, what goes around, comes around!
I now had some “very special” instructions for my nephew. “I hope you like that whistle. I know your parents are going to love it! Now they may try and take it from you, but don’t let them. That is your very special whistle, just for you.”
As my nephew walked around the yard with his new whistle, a smile appeared on my brother’s face. He was plotting his next revenge. “You know Griffin’s birthday is coming up.”
However, there is an interesting fact about my brother. He has six kids – twice as many as me. And as luck would have it, one daughter has a birthday the day before Griffin’s, and yet another child shares a birthday with Griffin.
For some reason his smile faded as quickly as it had appeared.
Game on, Mister. Little sister can play this one too.
Only At My House,