My nine year old was put on this earth to be a big brother. I know this because he is an amazing big brother and I knew this long before he became a big brother. Years ago, I decided I wanted to put my career first and put having any more children out of my mind, despite a nagging little boy who desperately wanted to be a big brother. After years of nagging, my nine year old’s wish came true. A year ago, about this time, I found out I was pregnant. My husband and I didn’t plan the pregnancy; God planned it and it was planned for a deserving big brother. It was my nine year old’s birthday wish and a year later, I know now, more than ever, that it is the most beautiful gift I could have ever received. Now, that gift isn’t simply just my five month old, but it is even greater. It is watching my nine year with his baby brother. It is a gift that brings tears to my eyes every single day and it is a gift that I will cherish for all the days of my life.
It didn’t surprise me last night, while watching the WWE’s Royal Rumble event, after watching the match between The Edge and Jeff Hardy, that my nine year old suddenly became very upset. The reason that he became upset was that despite every challenge thrown his way, Jeff Hardy beat the odds in a “no qualification” match only to lose the WWE Championship because his older brother, Matt, turned against him. Towards the end of the match, Jeff Hardy uses the Twist of Fate and pins Edge down in anticipation of keeping his championship belt; Vickie Guerrero (Edge’s wife/Smack Down Manager) tries to distract the referee who is only on count 2. Just then, Matt Hardy runs out, throws a steel chair in the ring, and tosses Vickie aside. Matt leaves the ring and grabs a second steel chair. Now, both brothers each have a chair. Jeff swings back to hit Edge with the chair when out of nowhere, Matt levels Jeff with the second steel chair. Matt Hardy then leaves to the stage while his brother is now unconscious. Edge awakens from his unconscious state, pulls Jeff over, hooks the leg and gets the pin fall, making him the new WWE Champion.
Explaining to my nine year old that this was all about the ratings and there was no brother rivalry here was pointless. He couldn’t understand, as he told me, that a brother, “a big brother” could do that to “his little brother” and that “big brothers are supposed to protect little brothers”. As this point, my eyes filled with tears. That gift that I mentioned hit me in my heart as if I just had been punched. I sat there in silence trying to find the courage to respond. How do you explain to a child who has wanted nothing more than to be a big brother something so controversial? How do explain it when all the men in your life (my brothers, my husband and my late father) all have/had tainted relationships with their brothers? All of this began racing through my head while my nine year old waited for some kind of answer or reassurance that what he saw just wasn’t possible. I responded by giving him a big hug and telling him that he was the most amazing big brother in the world and that I knew in my heart that he always would be.
My son may not have the greatest male role models to look up to on this particular issue, but it doesn’t mean he has no one to look up to. My sisters and I are close and we have never been closer. Moreover, my mother and her sisters are close and he has had the opportunity to witness that as well. So I have faith that my nine year old will always be the big brother he was meant to be even though, well, his idol wrestlers (maybe not so much any more) are not as lucky to have what he has with his baby brother and I believe he always will have. As a mother, I couldn’t be more proud.
Yes, even though, I know that the Jeff/Matt Hardy story line is fictional, I will, as always, state my option. Shame on you, Matt Hardy and shame on you, WWE. Well then, I suppose it is now time for me to get off my pedestal.