When you're the oldest kid, you get to be the hero, by default. It's a title that comes naturally to your younger siblings who will look up to you, and admire what you do, and want to imitate you--even if they try their hardest to drive you up a wall when they're right in your face.
This morning I warmed the bleachers at Big Brother's high school, with Middle Sister and Little Brother in tow, as we watched a cross-country meet. It was Big Brother's first home meet. We haven't gotten to any "away" meets, so this was a new experience for all of us. We accidentally found our way to seats right by the finish line, so we saw Big Brother finish the race, limping on his sore knee.
Basketball games are much more exciting. For that matter, baseball games are more exciting, and people who know me know that I find baseball as thrilling as watching paint dry. There's not a lot of action in a cross-country meet. Once in a great while, a bunch of runners zips by. Then they reach the finish line and you scream for them. Then you wait a long time until another bunch of runners zips by. (Note to self: along with the snacks for the kids and the coffee for me, remember to bring the Game Boy for Little Brother next time).
By the end of the meet, both of the younger kids, though bored, were talking about how when they are in high school, they will be on the cross-country team. They will run in this race, just like Big Brother.
He didn't get a medal for placing in the race, but his siblings think he's great all the same. And they want to do what he does. Great race, Big Brother!