The Bro Code

Miss Lucy’s boys, ages 5, 5, 7 and 9. (2009)

Keeping busy, and tiring out, skiing in New Zealand (2015)

With having four boys, close in age, including twins, it has always been a challenge dealing with the physical-ness and rough and tumble. I learnt early on that an open plan environment is not good. In the words of the band Offspring, “you gotta keep ’em separated”. Consequently, my house has many different zones with tv’s or Xbox, computers and outdoors.

Four boys can form quite a gang aka pack! There have been times that I have been late for school because I have had all of them in a separate time out spot at once. If they could all work together rather than against each other they could be a force to be reckoned with.

Instead, there is often what feels like continuous (relentless?) teasing which can be just down right mean. I’ve sat, heartbroken, thinking about it and worrying. What if they were out together and didn’t have each other’s back? Where was their sense of family pride? No matter what I said, they didn’t seem to listen.

Then one evening at dinner, it came to light that one of the boys had told other kids at school something personal about his brother. Hi brothers’ reactions were really interesting (relieving?). Basically the message got across that this was NOT COOL! So I joined in, in my best teenage boy way, “yeah NOT COOL! You don’t do that! What about the Bro Code??!!!”

Thus the Bro Code was born. It’s been brought up, (skilfully inserted into conversations by moi), a few times since then. If anything, it is a little bit of comfort for me that despite how horrible they can be to each other behind closed doors, we don’t air our sibling rivalries in public. And hopefully!!!! they’ll always have each other’s backs in public.