M is six years older than his little brother K, but years between them were shrinking rapidly in recent months.
I distinctly remember the first time I realized K was sneaking up on his brother. We were in the car, and M was pestering me about a concert he wanted to attend during the upcoming weekend. At 15, I was not ready to allow him to get in a car with older boys, drive downtown on a Friday night, and go to a concert.
His iPod’s screen saver of the marijuana leaf, flashed in my head. The “Stoner Music” playlist began ringing in my ears. I’ve read articles listing warning signs of possible teenage drug abuse…My answer was simple – No. But that didn’t stop him…bring on the annoying barrage of one-sided negotiations. He offered to clean his room or mow the lawn or play with his brother or do his homework.
1. The room? – His idea of cleaning would be to place all the clean clothes he had thrown on the floor, in the laundry room. And that would just lead to another exhaustive explanation about how I am not going to wash his clean clothes…again.
2. The lawn? – Too late. Already done.
3. Play with his brother? – No way – that would just mean I’d have to referee again.
And 4. Homework? Well, I never saw him do any homework during his freshman year of high school; I just couldn’t picture this one happening either.
But he couldn’t take No for an answer. Then, from the backseat of the car – a little voice of reason, “M, stop. Mom’s not going to change her mind.” How was it that the younger brother was now counseling the older brother?
K gets it.
Why can’t M?