Home Movies: Brothers at “Play”

During the summer of 2007, I completed one of those obligations had lingered on the “to do” list for years. I took the family video tapes and transferred them to DVD format. By the time September rolled around, the bookshelf was soon full of thin-cased DVDs with labels like “Christmas 1994”,”Soccer Game 2001,”and “First Bike Ride”.

Tonight we watched a few of the DVDs with my youngest son. The quality of the filmmaking was circumspect, but one particular video clip stood out.

The boys were playing on a large mound of dirt in the driveway. At age six, Michael could climb to the top, but Kevin at age four was too small to scale the steep sides. So, at Michael’s urging, Kevin brought over a long rope and tried to toss one end up to his brother. Time and time again, Kevin threw one end towards Michael. Michael reached out each time, sliding farther down until after several minutes, he had one end and Kevin had the other.

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As promised, Michael began to pull on his end, tugging hard to help Kevin climb the side of the dirt pile to the top.

But what did Kevin do? Once Michael was on the end of the rope, Kevin tried to pull Michael off the pile. The pull up-pull down tug of war continued for several minutes before Michael was set off balance and tumbled off to the ground.

Of all the home movies, the five minute recording of their play explains their relationship. Michael, bending to help, and Kevin, cooperating on his terms…and his terms only.

Michael collaborating; Kevin strategizing. Brothers.



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