I have been blessed with six brothers. Most people reading this blog are either A) my brother, B) married to my brother, C) made my brothers, or D) you are Hayley or Dena and can completely understand my position. If you somehow don't fall into one of these categories, please indulge me in a generational look at the importance of brothers. My son (almost four) is shaping up to be quite stereotypical in his brother-ing. He wrestles, punches, kicks, teases, tattles, pokes, taunts, and loves his little sister. And she, through sheer desperation, dishes it right back to him. When my daughter was born I remember feeling that she would be a very peaceful, calm, and soothing influence in our home. Sure, if you just account for nature. But what about nurture? One of her first words was "punch," and she is not afraid to tackle a much larger target (any of her family members) to the ground. She has a sharp wit (for a 21-month old...she sang 'Row, Row Row your Boat' this morning with the ending line of "Life is but a bowl of spaghetti!" Then she laughed loudly at her clear comedic genius), and she can be oh, so very loud. But this is not all her fault, nor her inherent nature. Yes, it was her fate being born a second child after a rambunctious older brother, and this behavior is obviously learned from an older, louder, slightly-more-energetic source.
I may have spent 16-ish years of my life scrambling for space and privacy and freedom from noogies (by the way, though I am the middle child, I still received ample amounts of torture from my younger brothers), but I do credit my brothers for teaching me strength, wit (though I have since lost it), endurance, a hardening of emotions (which have since softened), and a self-assurance that carried me through years that, by all accounts, should have been disastrous (because I was so ridiculously attractive...right...).
So though my constant reprimands to my son for his actions against his sister have evolved into a referee job in the world's longest boxing match between the two, I am grateful. Every little girl should have a brother. And thank goodness my son has a sister who's willing to fight back.