Smelly Socks: The joys of being the older brother

Feb. 27, 2014 at midnight
Updated Feb. 26, 2014 at 8:27 p.m.

Jamison enjoying his movie.

Jamison enjoying his movie.

Last summer, my youngest son, Jamison, had his whole world turned upside down right in front of my eyes. Jamison read that there was a new Lego movie coming to theaters. We should observe a moment of silence to take in the enormity of this revelation.

I should explain that Legos are my son's reason for existing. He comes home from school, gets his homework done, practices his piano, helps around the house and then heads straight to his room, where his creativity is allowed to soar with his beloved Legos.

He had been talking about this Lego movie nonstop for months, after he finally received the confirmation that he needed. One evening, while we were watching TV, a Lego movie commercial came on.

He now had a release date to put with the movie, and he began a countdown on his calendar to when he would be able to see it. Suddenly, all of the trouble I was having coming up with birthday party ideas for Jamison's 10th birthday vanished. A light bulb went off, and "The Lego Movie" was the answer.

Jamison was thrilled with his planned birthday celebration. I smiled as I got the coveted, "This is the best. Wow."

It was decided Jamison would pick a few school friends to join him for his birthday celebration, which was complete with taking them out for pizza, ice cream and to see the new Lego movie.

Since we live way, way out of town, I made arrangements to pick up the boys (remember, he is 10 years old, and still sticks his nose up at girls) at a convenient meeting spot in town. Everyone piled in our vehicles, and we set out on our birthday adventure.

On the way, with the radio turned onto Radio Disney, a commercial came on for "The Lego Movie." I was immediately deafened by squeals of excitement, and in my rearview mirror, I saw nothing but fist pumps complete with tremendously wide smiles.

I was the lone girl with a group of rowdy, Lego-crazed boys, and I was so pleased that my 13-year-old, Austin, decided that the movie sounded "kind of cool. Maybe I could sit through it."

Austin was able to keep an eye on the boys without them knowing he was keeping an eye on them, and for some reason, 9-and 10-year-olds think Austin is just the "coolest big brother ever," and they wanted to do everything he does.

He accepted his responsibility with as much enthusiasm as an older teenage brother would. Secretly, I knew he ate up all of the attention.

The theater was nearly packed. Jamison slowed his wide-eyed enthusiasm long enough to find a group of seats that everyone agreed were perfect.

He wanted to make sure that everyone was in place and settled before this long-awaited "super, spectacular" movie was to begin.

Then, as if on cue, 10 eyes so wide they could have been searchlights peered over at me and asked in unison, "Where is Austin? We don't want him to miss anything."

I had already located him at the far side of the theater sitting down so far in his seat that all you could see was the top of his hair. I quietly told the boys his location in hopes of appeasing them to turn back around.

What happened next even embarrassed John and I. All of the boys quickly stood up, turned around and waved feverishly at an unsuspecting Austin. In high-pitched boys' voices, they hollered, "Hi Austin. Come sit down here by us; we don't you want to miss anything."

Their giggles continued until John was able to settle them back down in their seats. I turned to look at my oldest son, and I noticed that everyone else in the theater had also turned to look at him.

I then saw him completely disappear down in his seat, but a bright red glow coming from his cheeks seemed to light the entire section where he was sitting. Mercifully, for Austin, the theater darkened, the previews started, and all eyes were diverted back to the screen.

The movie was a complete hit. We exited the theater with the boys all loudly singing the hit song from the movie, "Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you're part of a team. Everything is awesome, when you're living out a dream."

At this point, Austin decided there was no way to escape the embarrassment that his brother and his friends were causing him. He discovered that putting up a fight was useless, and he was outnumbered.

He placed his arm across Jamison's shoulders and hummed along to the Lego song that all of the boys were belting out. Brotherly love knows no bounds.

Johanna is a proud seventh-generation Texan. She lives on her family's South Texas ranch with her husband and two lively boys. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at



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