“All-Star Brother,” Friend, Sept. 2012, 26–27
Gabriel heard his younger brother moan for what seemed like the hundredth time. He looked toward Tyler’s bed, trying to see through the darkness. Gabriel was tired. His baseball team was having its championship game tomorrow morning, and he had to get some sleep.
“Tyler, can’t you stop moaning?” Gabriel asked.
Tyler moaned again. “I can’t help it. My stomach hurts.”
Gabriel turned on the light next to his bed. “I told you not to eat that second hot dog at dinner, especially not with all that chili on it.”
“But it tasted good!” Tyler said. Then he moaned again.
“Are you going to do that all night?” Gabriel asked. “I’ve got a big game tomorrow, and I need some sleep.”
“But my stomach hurts!” Tyler said.
“OK,” Gabriel said. “I’ll get Mom and Dad.”
Gabriel went to his parents’ room and told them that Tyler had a stomachache and he was moaning something awful.
“I can’t get any sleep,” Gabriel said as they walked back to the boys’ room. “I have an important game in the morning.”
“I’m sure Tyler isn’t trying to keep you awake on purpose,” Dad said. “Having a stomachache can be painful.”
Gabriel sighed. Didn’t anyone understand how important this game was? His team had worked all year to make it to the championship. He couldn’t let the other players down.
“Do you have a stomachache, Tyler?” Mom asked as she sat down on his bed.
“I ate too many hot dogs!” Tyler said.
“I can give you a blessing if you’d like,” Dad said.
Tyler nodded. Gabriel waited until the blessing was done and then asked if he could sleep in the living room. After all, Tyler might be up all night.
Gabriel went and settled down on the sofa, but he found he couldn’t go to sleep. He began thinking about how Mom and Dad cared for him when he didn’t feel well. He remembered how much he needed their help. He thought Tyler probably felt that way right now.
Gabriel silently prayed to know how to help his brother. Then he went back to the bedroom.
Tyler opened his eyes when Gabriel walked in. “What’s going on?” he whispered.
“I just wanted you to know I’m sorry,” Gabriel said. “I didn’t mean to care more about a baseball game than about you. You can make all the noise you need to make. I’ll stay right here with you.”
“I feel better now,” Tyler said. “The blessing helped.”
“Maybe you’ll feel good enough to come to the game tomorrow,” Gabriel said.
Tyler nodded. Then he smiled and said, “But I don’t think I’ll eat any hot dogs!”
Gabriel smiled too. “Sounds like a good idea.”