SONS AND BROTHERS

by Steve Clem on March 9, 2011

A weekend alone with my sons, stuck inside due to snow, produces some interesting laboratory experiments.

Lots of fighting. Lots of “Dad, he called me a _____.” Lots of me just wanting to shut the door to their room and crack open a beer.

Why don’t these brothers get along? I was never like that as a kid.

Well, okay, actually my sons are saints (so far) compared to the things my brothers and I (mostly my brothers) pulled as kids.

There was the time that my brothers were left in charge of watching me while my parents left for the afternoon. Apparently my brothers, who are 5 and 6 years older than me, had other plans that day.

The next thing I knew I was chained up to the tree in the backyard, with a glass of water and slices of bread on a paper plate within reaching distance.

My parents ended up coming home early and finding me chained to the tree. I’m pretty sure my brothers ended up having to do some sort of home improvement project for my dad as a result of that one.

There was also the time when my parents left us alone for the day, and my brothers and I had watched one too many James Bond movies. We decided to rig the house with booby traps, including trip wires going into bedrooms.

Needless to say, we all got in a bit of trouble when a few hours after returning home, my mom tripped over a wire going into my bedroom as she was bringing a load of laundry in for me to put away.

But one thing about having two big brothers…when push came to shove they had my back.

Bully on the playground? Brothers to the rescue.

Older neighbor kid picking on me? Brothers to the rescue.

My oldest brother even took care of me for a week straight when we both had chicken pox at the same time. I seem to remember a lot of Swiss Miss hot cocoa and pre-microwave popcorn on the menu that week.

As I watch my sons today interact, even when they’re ready to tear each others eyeballs out, it reminds me fondly of my brothers and I as kids.

My brothers and I don’t live near each other anymore. But it hardly means we’re not close.

I can only hope that Nile and Grady will have the same fondness toward each other 30 years from now.

* * * *

Steve Clem originally published this piece on the blog A Prisoner in the Tundra.

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