My Little B(r)other


Other girls had normal little brothers who were cute, happy, and all-around great. I had Mark.

Somehow Mark seemed to be the most obnoxious little brother in the world. Whenever I cleaned a room in the house, he would mess it up in no time. At the times when I was in a terrible mood, he would bother me until I sent him crying to Mother. Soon afterwards I’d get in trouble.

“Why can’t he leave me alone?” I would often pout in the solitude of my room. “Why can’t he be normal?”

One day I stomped into my room after a trying day at school. Nothing had gone right at all. Somebody knocked at the door. From the corner of my eye I saw Mark’s small frame.

“I have something to show you,” he said in a nervous voice.

I ignored him, hoping that I wouldn’t have to contend with him right then.

“I have something to show you,” he repeated. He shifted uneasily from side to side and awaited my answer.

“Okay,” I grumbled with my back to him. He stepped into the room and began talking to me. He was very uncomfortable as he stammered through a short remark.

“In my homeroom class we were assigned to write an essay on somebody in our family, and …” He paused. Then with renewed determination, he blurted, “Read this.” He dropped a piece of folded paper on the floor next to me, then hurried out of the room.

Curiously, I unfolded the paper and prepared myself to proofread it for him. “My sister Kristi is my favorite sister. I like her because she is nice.” A wave of guilt swept over me. I read on. “She drove me to piano lessons. After we had our lesson, she would drive us to 7-11. We took turns treating each other to Slurpees.” I had no idea he enjoyed that so much. What a cute little brother!

I read about some of my accomplishments that he had admired. The essay finished with, “I’m glad Kristi is my sister. She is about the best there can be. Well, I think so.”

I thought of the many times that I had turned him away when he tried to cheer me up. I was so selfish. I read John 13:34: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” I now had a new attitude towards Mark. He was the cutest little brother in the world. I realized how much he meant to me and how much I loved him.

I pulled out a piece of paper and picked up my pen. “Dear Mark, Thank you for letting me read the essay that you wrote. I really love you a lot. I know that I can be mean at times. Please forgive me. …” I continued to tell him how much I appreciated him. I folded the paper and delivered it to him. He looked embarrassed as he took the paper from my hand.

Since then, I have enjoyed my little brother’s company. Whenever I talk about my brother to my friends, I always begin with, “I have the cutest little brother in the world!”

[illustration] Illustrated by Roger Motzkus