Through The Eyes of The Oldest

By Taylor Skelly

I don’t like beating up my little brother, but it’s in my job description.

Like when he is constantly badgering me, just to get a reaction and just to be annoying, I think a little shove is necessary.  Or when he beats one in a million odds and some how manages to beat me in an intense game of FIFA, he needs a push. Or, when we play soccer in the backyard and he scores on me despite of my eighty-pound weight and foot in a half height advantage, I just have to give him a knock on the arm. It’s something that just has to be done.

What my brother Aaron, and all younger siblings around the world don’t understand, is that just as much as it is in the oldest sibling’s job description to demonstrate some tough love, it is just as much in their job description to be okay with it.

Taylor Skelly(left) next to his brother Aaron Skelly(right). Photo courtesy of Taylor Skelly.

After all, the older sibling is always right, right?

I mean, it’s not like he doesn’t have it coming to him anyway, after he has reaped the benefits of later bed times, more social freedom and the ability to see greater amounts of explicit movies, all of which I had to fight for with our parents every second of my 17-year life. All of which he so nonchalantly takes for granted.

But despite all the chastising, and so-called “abuse” as he would call it, that I dish out, I actually do care about him.

This became evident one winter day at the local neighborhood sledding spot. One thing led to another and before long, all 50 or so of the kids who were there broke out into a snowball fight. But this wasn’t just your average, everyday snowball fight. This was nothing short of snow war.

As I peeked out behind my makeshift wall to scan the “battlefield,” I saw my kid brother, only 9 or 10 at the time, getting pelted with snow balls and trapped by a group of kids older than him, who were holding him hostage for their own personal amusement.

Without even thinking of my own safety, I took off toward the altercation, spouting off a barrage of expletives at the punks as I traversed the snowy hillside. Upon arrival I pushed one of them to the ground and gave the others a stern warning. The posse, which just ten seconds before consisted of a bunch of self proclaimed tough guys, backed away, cowering in embarrassment.

I helped Aaron up off the ground, asked him if he was okay and walked him out of there. With out even saying anything, something became immediately clear between us.

I had his back.