I am the oldest of three children. I am also the only girl. My first brother was born 15 months after me, and my second brother was born nine years after me. Having siblings greatly affected my outlook on life and how I interact with others. My siblings helped create the adult I turned into. Although there were many ugly moments related to having two brothers, every moment was a learning experience. The most important thing’s I learned from having siblings was:
The Good Always Outweighs The Bad: Having two siblings was not always glamorous. Two siblings meant two other kids to share attention, time, room and things with. Luckily for me, being the only girl meant I was usually awarded my own space, while my brothers had to share. A new dress for homecoming sometimes couldn’t happen if the money was already spent on a brother’s wrestling shoes. A shopping date with mom was sometimes interrupted by the younger brother wanting to tag along. But despite having to share everything , the good always seemed to outweigh the bad. A new homecoming dress was not nearly as great as watching my brother win after an eight hour long tournament. The moments when I realized my six year old brother had better fashion sense than me were unforgettable. No matter what, the good always ended up outweighing the bad.
Blood Is Thicker Than Water: There were so many moments when I thought I could literally kill both my brothers. Especially in my teenage years, I didn’t think there could possible be anything more annoying than a younger brother, and I had two. But then, there would be a moment when one of them would come home upset about the way someone had treated them and I’d instantly be seeing red, ready to take on whoever and whatever it was that was hurting my little brothers. Or, I’d be upset about a boy and my pain would anger my brothers so visibly that it could instantly make me feel better knowing they have my back. (and nothing is more funny than an eight year old little boy thinking he’s going to take on a seventeen year old heartbreaker for hurting his big sissy)
The Age Difference Means Nothing: When I hear my friends talk about planning families, I often hear this resounding concern that having kids “too far apart” is a problem. I am quick to argue this theory because I share a nine year age gap between myself and younger brother, and we were very close growing up. In fact, I was much closer to my youngest brother than I was to the older one for many years. A difference in age does not mean the children will be less likely to bond. I love both of my brothers equally, but growing up my brother who was only born fifteen months apart from me and I had very little in common, we were very different people growing up and shared little similarities. I was much closer to the younger brother, despite the age gap. I fought off his nightmares, played with him, took him places when I got my license, picked up from school early to go eat lunch, and taught him to “rap”, with lyrics that I wrote that were appropriate for a seven year old. He was my little buddy, and the age difference did not affect our closeness.
Siblings WILL Look Up To You: Even though I was a girl, even though I had very little in common with one brother and was very far apart in age than another brother, I learned later in life that my siblings absolutely looked up to me. It was more obvious with my youngest brother, who outwardly asked me questions about life, about what to expect out of going to a new school, about having a girlfriend, etc. He looked to me for answers, he respected my opinion,and he listened to my advice (for the most part), with my other brother it was not so obvious. It wasn’t until we were in our mid twenties that I realized how much I influenced him. For example: I am the only person in my family to have any interest in The Beatles. A friend introduced me to them in highschool and I became obsessed. They were way before my years, but I loved them and listened to them on a daily basis. I took my brother to see “Across The Universe” when it came out while I was in highschool, which is a movie formed around Beatles Songs, he didn’t really know much of them at the time and it took me four years to realize how much of my taste he had acquired. On a car ride one time in our twenties, he plugged in his Ipod which had more Beatles Songs than even mine did. Then on another day he proudly brought over his “Across the Universe” DVD, we watched it together and he had almost every word of it memorized. Of course I had a sense of pride knowing that my younger brother shared in the same interest that I did, but even more so knowing that it was a direct outcome of my actions that gave him this interest.
Siblings Are Your Closest Friends: My siblings and I didn’t and still don’t always get along. There have been many days that I have said things I regret towards them, or been so mad at them that I felt like I could ring their necks, but in the end, it always get’s better. There is something strange and unusual about a bond between siblings, no matter what they do and no matter what I do, we will always forgive and move on. I don’t know another person on this earth who would tolerate the abuse of a sibling, and still love them the same the next day. Siblings are put on this earth to ensure you always have a friend to count on. I know without a doubt that my siblings will always be there to cheer me on or help me out, because that’s what siblings do. I can rely on them like nobody else, and its a friendship that can never be broken.