What It Means to Be the Oldest Sibling

When I was one and a half years old, my younger brother Fox was born. I don’t remember what life was like before him, but my parents have told me that I initially had some trouble adjusting to not being the center of attention. Two years later, my youngest brother Xander was born. I was four, and I can clearly remember walking into the hospital and seeing him for the first time. He was so tiny but so loud. We were obsessed with his minuscule fingers and toes, and I instantly felt like a big sister. I think Fox and I were too close together to feel any difference of age, but I felt responsible for Xander.

As we grew older, we fought incessantly and for a variety of reasons. However, thinking back on all our fights, I really can’t remember what it was we fought over. Now, I’m 19, Fox is 18, and Xander is 15. When people ask me if I have siblings, I still catch myself saying, “I have two little brothers,” and when they ask me how old they are (assuming they’re babies) and I respond, I realize that they’re not so little anymore. In my head, they’ll always be my little brothers, but now they tower over me.

I really wish we didn’t spend so much time fighting when were younger because we are such good friends now and to have that friendship form at a younger age would have been so nice. Oh well. Even though we’re friendly, I still catch myself acting like my mom when one of them gets into trouble. Every time I come home from college for Thanksgiving and Christmas I want to share with them a life lesson I have learned in the hopes that they won’t make my same mistakes. I constantly want to teach them things and I think they find this a little annoying.

I love being an older sister. I love teaching them things I’ve learned throughout the years and helping them with homework. When Fox asked me to help him with his college applications, however, I started freaking out a little internally because oh my god he really is old now. The college process was still so fresh in my mind and I was glad that I could share with him some tips and tricks.

Being an older sister means always feeling proud of your siblings and simultaneously annoyed with them. I know I can say this, and, if my brothers are reading this, they won’t get mad because I, too, have annoyed them quite a bit. Whenever I’m home I make Fox drive me places because, well, he can. When I’m feeling lazy I ask Xander to bring me food or turn on the TV. It’s the little things. Just like I annoy them, they annoy me with their immaturity and lackadaisical nature. I feel like every older sibling is slightly more high strung than their younger siblings because of this intrinsic responsibility we feel. So when my brothers make questionable choices, like skipping school or not studying for a test, I get angry with them.

However, I would not change this experience for the world. As my brothers and I have grown together, I see myself less as their older sister and more as their friend. We have gone through our share of difficulties and this has created a bond that I continually cherish. While we drive each other insane at times, at the end of the day I know that I can always count on them for support and love.

If you have siblings, let them know how much they mean to you. Go give them a hug, write them a card, buy them Chik-fil-a—show them how much they mean to you.

 

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