Dear Children of mine,
I am about to impart words of wisdom I just now realized and hope that you take it to heart. Please please please, for everything you hold dear, do not annoy your siblings any more than you have to. For it is true that what you do today to your brothers, will come back to haunt you years later as an adult. Your brothers will get back at you and in the worst way possible. They will annoy you through your own children.
Zavi, I'm so sorry that you had to deal with Uncle Brad this weekend. If you need therapy as an adult due to this weekends incidents, please don't hesitate to let me know. We'll find the best lawyer in town and sue Uncle Brad to pay for your therapy bills. And remember this when you start to think about locking Ashe out of your room.
I love you all very much. I'm sorry for taunting my brother when I was a kid and you took the brunt of it in the end.
Let it be said that I learned a very important lesson this weekend in regards to familial obligations. Clearly there is an unspoken rule that when you bug the crap out of your siblings as children, they WILL find a way to get back at you, no matter how long it takes. I admit as a child and the older sibling I was horrible to my brother at times. I never wanted to play with him unless it was dressing him up like a girl because I wanted a sister, or he had just gotten a really cool toy I wanted to play with. As the years went by my brother and I formed a very strong close bond and I had thought he had forgotten all those horrible things I did to him when we were little. But I guess he had repressed it until such a time came about where he could exact vengeance on me. He picked the perfect time. He waited until I had kids of my own, and old enough for them to always remember.
My younger and only brother, Brad, is a career Marine, and found out recently he is being transferred to Hawaii in a few weeks and then deployed to Afghanistan in January. My mom and her husband are moving down to take over his house and keep it cared for while he is gone for at least the next 4 years. This weekend we decided to go down and both welcome my moms husband, who pioneered his way down first before my mom could officially retire, and to say goodbye to my brother before he leaves.
I popped in the car early Saturday morning while J stayed home. He couldn't face another long drive so soon with the kids after our vacation (chicken) and also hurt his back putting bunk beds together for the boys while I was out the night before with some girlfriends (idiot). The boys and I passed 2 hours driving by Xavier playing DS, Soren passed out for the most of it with an occasional bout of cryinghere and there, and Ashe and I listening to good music. On the way we saw a dead Beagle in the middle of the road. Only Zavi and I understood how sad that was.
Of course we get to my brothers house and the first thing out of Zavis mouth was "We saw a dead beagle. It was really sad." Brad has a rottie puppy, Lokie, and Ron ( my moms husband) has 2 goldens and has taken over the care of our Pug Grunther after he bit Ashe once. (He is an awesome dog and had NEVER done anything like it before but I refuse to take chances with my kids no matter what!) So all 4 dogs were in the house or yard happily playing with each other and the boys.
About an hour into our visit Brad pulls me aside and says "I'm going to teach Zavi how to make a fire." Thinking he means in the fireplace I give my consent. He asks me to help him gather wood so we head outside to his shed and grab wood from the pile. Instead of heading back to the house he veers off to the backyard where I notice for the first time, a fire pit. Stacking them like Jenga, Brad asks me to bring the boys. Idiotically I agree.
"UNCLE BRAD WANTS YOU OUTSIDE"
"HE WANTS TO TEACH YOU HOW TO MAKE A FIRE."
Brad interjects "Not just any fire. Fire with gasoline soaked wood."
"HE WANTS TO SHOW YOU HOW TO MAKE A FIRE WITH...WHAT?!?!?!"
I glare at my brothers impish grin.
"It's cool. I know what I'm doing."
"Yeah YOU may know what you're doing but my kids don't!!!"
"And that's why I'm going to teach them" he says with a laugh.
By this time the kids have come running out and excitedly await the lesson at hand. Glaring daggers at Brad I grab the hand of Ashe and pace backwards 40 steps. I do know my brother after all. He hands Zavi a wadded paper towel, grabs a huge container of gasoline, douses the wood, then comes back towards Zavi with a lighter.
"Ok Zavi I am going to light that paper towel you have in your hand" (look of fear crossed over Zavis face) "and you are going to toss it onto the wood. Then you're going to run like heck away. Ready?"
"Trust me. You wont get hurt."......
Trust me... I remember saying those words to Brad when he was little a few times and the subsequent bawls of terror after. Whoops.
Zavi bravely held out his wad of paper as far as he could from his fragile little body while Brad lit it on fire then ran to the fire pit, threw it in and booked it 50 paces away as a giant WHOOSH of flame erupted from the spot.
"Coooool" is all I heard.
Brad continues my oldest sons education in the art of fires by teaching him to throw gas on the fire. Zavi missed the pit a little and a line of fire trailed after him. Fortunately it was raining a little and the ground was wet, and Zavi ran out of gas before it reached him. Brad had the courtesy to stomp on the line of fire, causing the hem of his jeans to catch flame. I snickered as he stomped and danced around trying to smother it before it could spread upward.
Later that afternoon we went out for Chinese food and as Zavi is snacking on a chicken terryaki stick Brad tries to convince him that its dog meat. Of course Xavier looks to me for verification and I shake my head. Brads mumbling something under his breath about how it could be. Now Zavi will never look at food the same again.
Lastly, after hardcore playing, the dogs all passed out by the kitchen. Brad made some comment about how Grunther (Zavis beloved dog) must have had a heart attack as he looked dead. Zavi of course countered that he wasn't dead just sleeping.
"Nope, I think he's dead."
"He is not!!!"
"Yup, I think he is." This of course went on for the rest of the day, even when Grunther woke up and started jumping around. Poor Zavi keeps pointing to the dog, indignant that Uncle Brad could continue to believe his dog was of the dearly departed despite all evidence pointing to the contrary. I'm hoping Zavi realized that with this display of idiocy he understood never to take anything my side of the family says seriously ever. Except for me, of course.
After hours of entertainment in this fashion, I packed the boys up, kissed my brother goodbye and wished him luck. I hop into the van, all kids strapped in securely and turn to Brad.
"So today... was this all payback for all the times I pissed you off as a kid?" He just laughed his butt off and waved us goodbye.
I'm going to miss him dearly. So are the kids.