Really Big Words

This past weekend has been tough on my oldest. We had a big party planned for his first holy communion, but his little brother got sick and we had to change our plans. The big guy rolled with the change, but I could tell it bothered him.

Saturday afternoon, an argument erupted.

I ran into the living room to see what was going on. The little guy immediately pulled his “poor sick me” routine, looking so weak and frail that he could barely stand.

I guided the big guy back to the kitchen.

“But Dad,” he started.

“It’s okay,” I said. “You’re not in trouble.”

“Dad,” he tried again.

“Just let it go. Take some time away from your brother.”

He pulled his arm away from me. “But Dad,” he said. “He’s achieving social dominance!”

That one stopped me. I stared at him for a couple of blinks. “He’s what?”

“He’s achieving social dominance!”

“Um, okay.” I tried not to smile. I tried really, really hard. “Do you know what that means?”

“It means he’s trying to be the boss.”

I couldn’t help myself. I smiled.

“It does,” he said.

“You’re right,” I said. “You’ve got it right on the money. That’s what it means. It’s just, well, those are some really big words.”

This time it was his turn to blink. He smiled. “Yeah.”

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