Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Little Big Brother

Have you met this kid?

His name is Richie.  He's Ryan's brother.

Technically, he's Ryan's little brother.  But the other day, I slipped a little when I was talking about him and what a great brother he is.

I looked in the living room and saw something that amazed me.  Our kids don't get to play video games on the TV during the week.  During the week they can have iPad, maybe some iPod time.  They ask all week to play their favorite, Mario Kart, all week.  Especially Richie.

Richie LOVES Mario Kart.  This is quite recent, and he's become a pretty great little driver!  We even found some extra controllers online for the ol' Gamecube so we can all play together.  This weekend, we spent a lot of time sitting down, sometimes just me and the boys and Maelynn cheering us on, driving those little carts, exploring the characters, and just hanging out together racing.

Ryan was getting frustrated, though.  Every now and again he'd bang his fist on the entertainment center, frustrated about getting his cart to go the way he wanted it to go.  Sometimes he'd wind up in a full-out, head-smacking meltdown.

Monday afternoon, I'd left the boys to their own Mario-Kart-devices while I got some dinner out for their Daddy, who had to go back to work soon, and for the kids themselves.  That's when I glanced in and saw it.

A huge expression of love for his brother, but so simple and clean and caring.  So small, it seemed.  But it was enormous.

I walked in when I saw the screen taken up by a single player race, and I asked Richie what was going on.

"My brudder was getting frustrated so I changed it so he could play easier."

This was the last time till next Friday he was to get to play his new favorite game.  And his concern was for his brother.

Immediately, and without thinking a bit, I walked back in the kitchen and said to Eric, "Richie is such a great big brother."

And then we looked at each other.

He's not Ryan's big brother.  But we both knew what I was talking about.

He is a great big brother to Ryan sometimes.  But in his heart, Richie is always going to be Ryan's little brother.  He adores his big brother.  He even cut off the golden curls he loved... we all loved... to look like his brother.

I struggle to meet Ryan at his level.  I don't catch everything, and sometimes I fight the things I do catch.  But my five year old, who just wanted to see his big brother succeed, figured out a way to make things doable for him.

And Ryan was doing great.  I guess the split screen was too much for him.

Thanks be to God for those of us who stand when we could sit, who think of others and give up our seat when it would even make another happy.

And thanks be to God for my Richie.

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