Chapter 64 – Independence from Older Brother.
“I’m going out to play!”
“Please come back before it gets dark.”
Recently, my younger brother has started playing with his friends. He started attending kindergarten this year and began to expand his circle of friends. I often saw him playing with his friends during break time.
However, I thought he would continue to play with me at home as usual. Until recently, that is.
“Is Yuya going to the park again today?”
“No, it seems he went to visit the Tanaka family’s house today,” my mother replied, then she took out her smartphone and contacted parents over there.
Ah, that’s why she made him bring sweets.
Yuya had already made a lot of friends at the park, and he played with children I didn’t know during tea parties. With his high social skills, he pleaded with our mother to let him go out and play by himself. As Yuya is more mature than his age suggests, he was given the freedom to act within the neighborhood’s limits. Since the park is nearby, it was determined that as long as he followed some rules, there would be no problem.
・Inform them where you are going to play before you go out.
・Always carry your phone when you are going out.
・Do not run out onto the road.
・Do not approach strangers.
・If you are in trouble, stick a note on the ground.
It’s a very common promise to reassure your parents. Surely Crayon Shin-chan had also made a similar promise.
The last one is the greatest reassurance.
Yuya cheerfully said, “Yes, I promise!” and did the pinky swear with our mother.
Since then, Yuya has been going out to play almost every day, leaving his older brother at home.
Before graduating from kindergarten, the younger brother became independent from his older brother.
Wait, isn’t this too soon?!
Aren’t siblings supposed to play together more often?! Aren’t we supposed to be catching insects and going on adventures together during summer vacation?!
Well, those were all scenes I saw in anime and dramas, but I thought that younger siblings were supposed to play with their older siblings more than with their friends, at least until the early years of elementary school.
As someone who was an indoor type and an only child in my past life, I didn’t have the option of going out to play. Therefore, I never imagined that my younger brother would show interest in the outside world so soon.
“Weren’t we playing with trains not too long ago? Weren’t we flying paper airplanes all day? Ah, did he get bored of that already?”
Thanks to Yuya’s persuasion, I was also able to receive a kids’ smartphone.
Smartphones have become an essential item for modern people. With it, if I encounter anything I don’t know I can now research it by myself.
I immediately searched for “sibling independence” on my new phone.
“Ugh, parental control…”
On our smartphones, filters are set up to prevent children from accessing harmful websites.
It’s inconvenient that it also stops us in accessing sites that are not an R18.
However, considering the search results this time, it is understandable.
“I’m not a brocon.”
The search results were all like that.
He’s my little brother, first brother I got in both of my lives. He’s still in kindergarten, so of course I want to take care of him.
I just wanted to know at what age it’s normal for a younger brother to become less attached, but now I’m being suspected of something terrible.
After researching various things, I arrived at a certain conclusion.
“That’s right. It’s usually the older brother who starts playing more with his friends first, and the younger brother is the one that gets lonely… It’s completely the opposite here.”
Generally, in the lower grades of elementary school, children’s activity areas expand, and they begin to pursue their own interests. However, since it depends on the family’s policies and the children’s personalities, there are no specific numbers indicating that siblings will play separately at this age.
In our case, it might be a little early though.
As I was fiddling with my smartphone, my mother who was in the yard doing the laundry came back to the living room and asked me while looking at my face, “Is something wrong?”
“No, nothing’s wrong,” I replied, but my mother hugged me with a compassionate smile.
I wondered what suddenly happened.
“You must be feeling lonely because Yuya went out to play. I understand how you feel, as your mother.”
How did she find out? Is this a mother’s intuition? Come to think of it, I couldn’t keep secrets from my past life’s mother either. To be honest, if I answer it truthfully…
“Yeah…I feel a little lonely.”
Um…it’s okay, mom. You don’t have to hug me so tightly. It’s embarrassing to be comforted because I’m having trouble separating from my little brother. I’m just confused by the kind of loneliness I’m currently experiencing for the first time.
“I heard from the teacher that Hijiri is popular at kindergarten. If you want to play with your friends, let me know. I’ll even drive you there, even if it’s a bit far.”
Come to think of it, I had never played with my classmates outside of kindergarten before. As I grew older in my past life, the opportunity to visit my friends’ homes disappeared. Even when I met my best friend after a long time, we only went out for drinks as all adults do. Perhaps it was because I had learned the sinfulness of invading someone’s private space, and before I knew it, the option of going to a friend’s house had disappeared from my mind.
Even though I returned to a child’s body, I still feel hesitant about intruding into someone else’s home.
“Can I invite a friend over to our house?”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t allow that.”
Hmm, I thought my mother would smile and say OK because Kana and Kaname came here to play a couple of times. What’s wrong?
“Your father says that our home is not a safe place for children. While playing at our home, they may accidentally touch dangerous objects. Therefore, please play outside or at your friends’ houses.”
I see, I understand now.
There are so many things in our house that would pique a child’s curiosity, such as talismans, ceremonial tools, and inkstones. If my friend were to enter my father’s office and get hurt, it would be a disaster.
In that case, it’s better not to invite anyone except for those involved in the world of Onmyoji.
“I’m sorry. Did you want to invite a friend?”
“Nah, I’m good. I still have to practice Onmyoji techniques, and I play enough with my friends at kindergarten.”
Playing outside or in kindergarten is solely for the purpose of cultivating a healthy mind and body. It is also a form of exercise to build connections, and not necessarily because I am enjoying playing with kindergarteners. Although I won’t deny that it’s fun to indulge in a little bit of childlike playfulness sometimes.
I don’t need to go visit a friend’s house just to compete with Yuya… though it might be a good idea to go once or twice.
My mother is looking at me with a worried expression. I’m not exactly a typical child, so to put her mind at ease, I’ll go out to play at least once instead of just practicing Onmyoji techniques.
If I’m going to go out to play, I might as well go to Mamoru’s house. He’s my closest friend since I was reborn, and meeting his politician father would also be a bonus.
“Can I go to Mamoru’s house someday?”
“That’s Shoji-san’s house, right? All right. I’ll ask his mother.”
If kindergarteners get along well, so do their parents. Mamoru’s mom, whom I heard was a monster parent, turned out to be a nice person when I actually met her. She’ll probably let me visit him once.
My friendship with Mamoru is already strong enough, so I’ll think about what we should do for fun when I am about to go there.