As a parent, you want to keep your kids safe. You’d throw yourself in front of a bus if it meant that your children would remain unharmed and secure. But sometimes, you find yourself choosing to be – The Bad Parent. Yes, you could intervene at the moment of conflict. However, you purposely don’t because (maybe, in the back of your mind you’re thinking) your child deserved what was coming
It doesn’t happen often and I’m not proud of this, but one such incident needs to be shared
Justin has a habit of bugging Garrett at the moment when Garrett’s tolerance for bullshit has been depleted. Garrett loves physical play, but doesn’t like being touched by his brother. I’ve warned Justin on multiple occasions to get his hands off of his brother before Garrett loses his composure and starts punching him.
Several nights ago, my warnings fell on deaf ears. I told Justin that if he touched his brother one more time, he would probably get punched by Garrett. Sure enough, Garrett not only punched him….but leapt on top of him and began to pummel him like a prize fighter.
I was 5 feet away. I could have said something. I could have pulled Garrett off of Justin. I could have yelled at them both to cut it out.
I just stood there and took another sip of my water as the ruckus continued.
And then, I heard the strangest/funniest/weirdest comment come out of Garrett’s mouth. As he continued to punch Justin over and over with Justin pleading for me to help him, I heard Garrett scream at Justin, “I’m hitting you and I’m hitting you HARD because I’m your BEST FRIEND!!!”
It’s something that has stayed with me ever since he said it. What did he mean by that? Was it like when a parent tells a child that they’re very angry with them, but still love them? Was he trying to tell Justin that he had no friends and managed to piss off the last one? Was he so angry that he couldn’t find the words he really wanted to use? I don’t know.
But, I now have a name for it: “Bro-Frenemies.” Sometimes they are friends. Sometimes they are enemies. But, they will always be brothers.