After being a guest during about half a year at his best friends' house, the time had come for Mateo to go back to his parents.
They didn't even know him. He felt a complete stranger in his own family.
After having greeted them politely they had their meal together but Matty didn't really feel at home and was very unhappy.
When Ilona took the time to talk to the boy, he said that he had preferred to have an older brother because everything is worse for the first born. His mother looked at him and didn’t know what to say. He slept alone in his own bedroom and cried again when he woke up. He missed the Lightkeeper family. The obsession of the boy didn’t leave Ilona's mind. She couldn’t sleep very well and the very moment she would fall asleep, she woke up by (what she thought) was her own voice repeating the word ‘responsibility, responsibility’. She sat on the bed and started to remember. She was the youngest of her family and had two older brothers; Marvin and Jackson. They had been very fond of her and she remembered them with a warm feeling in her heart. Suddenly she knew how to handle this but, looking at the clock, she couldn’t wake the boy up this time of the night but she felt better now; went back to bed and fell asleep immediately. When Matty came home from school she took him apart. She told him that she loved him very much and that she understood why he liked to have an older brother or sister. Then she asked: "Do you think that your brothers and sisters are pleased to have you as an older brother?"
Matty got a bit confused and answered: "Well, I don't know... I suppose they don't know me very well". Ilona looked at him and said: "Exactly! Perhaps this is something to think about my boy... you are not really acting as a big brother to them. Marvin and Chessie are already going to school and it wouldn't be so bad if you would help them with their homework. That's a good way to show your love to the whole family because, they would appreciate it and your father and I would have our hands free to teach your little sisters to walk and talk before they grow up." Matty: "You don't love me as much as when I was a toddler" and he looked very unhappy.
Ilona: "How did you come to that conclusion? I love you all very much but parents always feel something very special for their first born". Matty looked at his mothers' face and saw that she was about to shed tears. Suddenly he felt that she never had stopped loving him and he embraced her. That's when his own tears started to run over his cheeks. Ilona caressed him if though he was a baby and he felt that he couldn't speak at all. Next morning, before going to school, he offered Marvin to help him and Chessie with their homework this afternoon. Marvin was surprised but accepted the offer. He dedicated time playing with the girls as well.
From that moment on, things went much better. Now and again he spent a week-end with Raph but mostly invited Raph to come and play with him. Now he felt more responsible as the older brother. It was really great when Chessie and Marvin came home, saying that they had improved a lot at school since Matty helped them with their homework. Ilona saw that the boy was doing a wonderful job and she talked about it with Chester. "Could you possibly get some days off and take Mateo on a holiday? One way or another, we never have quality time for the children but, no doubt, he is dealing with the worst part and I thought that we could reward him with something very special".
"I suppose that there won't be any problem because I never had a holiday so far but what about Matty? Will school give permission?"
Ilona called school and she was told that she needed an official document from the Administration, so she went to the Town Hall to obtain permission. Early saturday morning, Chester asked Matty if he wanted to accompany him on a holiday to Egypt. "Are we going all of us?" "No", his father replied "the others are too young to come with me. It will be only you and me. Now... hurry and get changed". That was a big surprise. Matty called his friend to tell him the big news and he promised to buy him a souvenir. It was there that the bond between father and son became stronger. Matty had a good time in Egypt. His father took him to explore but he wasn't very fond of that. He loved to play on the market place and talk to the people there. They even let him play in the fountain because it was very hot there. He liked the food but would have liked to watch a film on TV now and then. He just loved to sleep in a tent with his dad! After a few days they came home again and the boy was very proud to show in school a few things he dug up with his father.
Finally he had accepted the fact that he was the older brother with all the pros and cons but he felt that he was loved by his parents.
As a matter of fact, he started to feel more important and next week it would be his birthday and he knew that by then it would be impossible to play with his same toys, so he just used his time 'usefully'.
To be continued
Tender Loving Care - Part 2
Jun 3, 2010 by martoele
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