Isaiah stacked piles of pillows on his bed then he lay down, his legs raised as high as he could get them. His little boy muscles bulged as his feet pushed up against the top of his big brothers’ bed.
“Izzy!” Jacob yelled.
Isaiah gave another big push and Jacob jumped down off his bunk. He grabbed hold of Izzy’s pajama top and shook him. “Leave. Me. Alone,” he growled through clenched teeth.
Jacob may have done more but he let go when the door to the boy’s room opened.
“What’s going on in here?”
“Jacob, your mom needs you in the kitchen.”
“Isaiah’s a little…”
“Now,” their dad interrupted.
Jacob left the room, but before he did, he turned around and stuck his tongue out.
“What’s going on, Isaiah?” Alan sat on the desk chair beside the bed.
“Dad, when am I ever going to be bigger than Jake? It’s not fair.” Isaiah pushed his legs up against the top bunk again.
Alan smiled. “You’ve got ‘Little Brother Syndrome.’” He felt Izzy’s forehead.
“Am I sick? Is that why I’m so mean to Jake?”
Alan laughed. “Jake’s mean to you too, right?”
“Oh yeah. Dad, why do I have to be the little brother?”
“It’s not all that bad. I’m a little brother too. Your Uncle Bob is older than me.”
Isaiah jumped up. “Oh man! I forgot. You’re way taller than him.”
“Things kind of even out in the end, Kiddo.”
“You mean I have to wait until I’m old before I can be as good as Jake?”
Alan put Isaiah on his lap. “You’re already just as good as Jacob.”
“You’re just saying that ‘cuz you have to. Jacob can spend the night with friends and he rides his bike alone. He can open the gate by himself too. Cuz he’s tall enough. I’m short. Shorty. Small fry.”
“That’s enough. No more name-calling.”
“But I am. I’m even too short to push the bed up without a bunch of pillows.”
“I wondered what was up with the all this. Can you take mine and your mom’s back to our room when we’re done talking, please?”
“Isaiah, there’s more to being good than being tall. You know that, right?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, when we learn about Jesus’ life, did we find out how tall He was?
“Do you see what I mean now?”
“That is kinda stupid. I guess you mean it’s more important to be a good person and do good things than how big I am?”
“Yes. But just being good isn't the only important thing. When you want to measure yourself, measure yourself up to Jesus – always ask yourself what you think Jesus would do. He’s a pretty good yardstick, you know?”
Isaiah stared at the ceiling.
“What are you looking at, Buddy?”
“Just thinking I’d have to use a kilostick instead, Dad.”
“You are a funny guy, you know that? That’s one thing you have that your brother doesn’t.”
“You have a sense of humor. One more thing, Buddy. Jesus used to be little too. He had to grow up just like you.”
“That’s true but He wasn't the youngest.”
“I know, but He had some big shoes to fill.”
“Okay, I get it.”
Alan hugged Isaiah and whispered in his ear. “Love you.”
Isaiah wiggled out of his dad’s arms. “Will you please not do that in public anymore? That would help lots.”
Alan grabbed hold of him again. “Hate to tell you but we’re not in public right now.”
“Oh, yeah. Okay. So…what did Mom want Jacob for anyway?”
“She didn't actually, but since I needed him out of the room so we could talk, I sent him to your mom to take my place.”
“Taste-testing again, huh?”
“Exactly. Between the two of us, your mom isn't the best baker in the world.”
“Maybe she needs to start measuring herself up to Buddy the Cake Baker. Better yet, maybe we need to stop measuring her up to Buddy.”
Alan messed up Isaiah’s hair. “Now you’re getting it. We only measure ourselves against God. You’re a pretty smart cookie. Lesson learned. Now it’s our turn to get down there and relieve Jacob. Who knows, her baking just might be good this time.”
Isaiah started off out the door.
“Did you forget something?” his dad picked up a pillow and threw it at him.
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