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The Colors That Make Us- Evergreen

Every child dreams of having a younger sibling – having someone to play with, to be around and to grow up with.  When I wished for siblings, I never knew that the only ones I’d ever end up having would be brothers. By the time the third brother came around, I knew it was game over. Never mind the fact that I am 11 years older than him, I still acted like a baby.

 

I’m known to be a little bit overly dramatic about things (the reactions to the births of each of my brothers provides enough evidence) but I have never been as dramatic as I was during the few week week’s of my first brother’s life.

 

First of all, how do you explain to a toddler that they are suddenly not the only child anymore? My very creative parents pulled quite the elaborate story to keep me interested in the impending change that was to come. Little did I know all the irritations that came along with having a sibling.

 

My brother, Alexander, was born two weeks before Christmas. When he was brought home from the hospital, my parents explained that he was an early Christmas present from Santa. Apparently the big man in the red coat thought I needed a baby brother, but I didn’t recall putting a sibling on my Christmas list. So, he comes home from the hospital, and naturally everyone is obsessed with him. So was I; he had us all tricked into thinking he was the best thing since sliced bread.

 

Christmas was coming closer and closer and having Alex around for that couple of weeks had been an interesting experience. I quickly learned that babies cried. A lot. And they smelled, and ate all the time and stole everyone’s attention away from me. I caught on quickly to that last part, and didn’t really appreciate everyone suddenly not paying attention to me.

 

Christmas Day finally comes around and I’m praying that one of those gifts with my name on it didn’t have another baby in it. Fortunately, Santa must have heard my prayer when I asked for no more babies, because it was a surprise-free present day.

 

A few days after Christmas, I had finally had enough. I didn’t appreciate the constant crying through the night and all the constant attention this pooping machine was getting. Finally, I said to my mother: “You can tell Santa that he can take the baby back because I don’t want it anymore”.

 

Unfortunately, babies don’t work that way, thus beginning a 15-year long rivalry between the two of us. He’d soon learn what it felt like to not have all the attention in the family when the next two brothers were born. That was something we could finally bond over.  The second brother was born exactly a month after Christmas, and everyone called him “the late Christmas gift”. The third brother was born in the middle of the hottest summer I’ve ever experienced, and for some reason everyone was making up this thing about Christmas in July and calling him a gift, too. I failed to see how they were considered Christmas gifts when neither of them were even born around the holidays.

 

This rivalry continued as I had to sit every year and watch him open dozens of presents just weeks before Christmas. It was completely unfair, to be honest. I was like he was getting two Christmases! This proved to be a very difficult task to deal with as we grew older: he’s hard enough to shop for as it is and now we have to buy him birthday AND Christmas gifts.

 

Every year I joke with Alex about how he was the Christmas gift I didn’t ask for and Santa had a strict “no refunds, returns or exchanges” policy. His response is to put a bow on top of his head and sit himself under the evergreen tree in our living room. Yes, he is a gift; all of my siblings are, and this is the best time of year to be thankful for them.

Just your average 22-year-old who loves pizza and puppies and wants to make a difference in the world.
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