Thank You "Big Bro"

Growing up, people always commented on how lonely I must have been without siblings or how I have missed out on a sibling rivalry/protective brother/first best friend/sister bond. But in reality, I really don’t feel like an only child in the social aspects of having a sibling. I’m super close with all of my cousins. I’ve always felt that they were the siblings I never really got but with the luxury of not having to be with them 24/7. On both sides of my family we would do stuff for the big holidays, small holidays, just random day trips, vacations, going to as many games, plays, recitals, performances, etc. that we could go to. I have special bonds with each of my cousins. My first best friend/other half is my younger cousin, Caroline, and I’ve had her pinned as my maid of honor for when I get married since I first learned what a maid of honor is. And I believe that I do have the ‘protective brother’ bond with my older cousin, Nik.

Nik is two years older than me and even in our baby pictures you could tell he would always protect me from dangers our in the world. As I grew into the toddler years, not only was I probably more fun to play with, but we’d fight as well. I’d also bother him on purpose, which I still do occasionally. I sort of remember us getting on each other's nerves very easily growing up, yet when needed, we’d be there for each other no matter what. I’m also pretty sure that next to his brother growing up or even now, I’m the biggest pain in his butt. I just always wanted to be able to do what he could. He was older so he could do more things than I could, and he could do things first, which I found very unfair, such as drive, drink, sit at the adult table, etc. I always wanted to be able to do things with him. I would always support him with his interests such as Pokémon and video games. I still do support him on everything, but his winter clothing attire...I mean who wears shorts, t-shirts and flip flops in the winter time and not freeze….

As we got older, I’d say we got into our very stubborn, moody personalities. I was obsessed with makeup, boys, and looking good and he turned into a quiet, angry teddy bear. This is where we’d really get on each other’s nerves. He locked me in a food pantry with his brother and our little cousin because we were bothering him while he was watching us on vacation. He would tease me about any boy I mentioned on Facebook, Twitter, or in conversation, and even about my interests, aka Justin Bieber. Since he did everything first, he matured into an adult first, and would rather hang out and talk with the adults than play.

As I got older and grew into a mature adult, he started to become more protective, but he’d never admit to that I’m sure. He still is—he always tells me that if a boy ever hurts me, he’ll be the first one knocking on his door. Since my favorite summer concert venue is basically down the street from his house, every time he knows I’m going to a concert or that someone I like is going to be there that night, he will text me and ask if I’m going, how I’m getting there, and if I have a DD. He’ll also add that if the DD decides to drink or I get way too drunk, I can call/text him and he’ll pick me up, take me home and take care of me, which I really appreciate.

By the end of high school, I’d say we started to get really close again, bonding over music, other common interests, and hanging out. Yet before I knew it, he was graduating and I still remember that I never asked him where he wanted to go to college so I just assumed it was far away. I thought he was going to go away to a four year school and not be home for family stuff or be around for anything, and I actually cried from the thought of him not being around much. But instead he went to a two year, so he was still close by for a few years. He was able to come to my senior night performance for majorettes. I asked him to come and he took the night off from work and came. It made my night all the more special, to be honest. We tell each other things because we have a lot of trust in each other. He told me a ‘secret’ before most of the family knew, and I’d tell him stuff first too. I’m actually surprised that he wants to take me out to drink with him since I’m 21 now, but glad that he at least wants to be seen in public with me.

I don’t think there’s any better way to grow up than with a cousin like him, I love him with all of my heart, and he is the best. So you can feel bad for my “sad” childhood of “loneliness” but I enjoyed my childhood, with all of my cousins and the bonds that I have with each of them.

                                                                                   Thank you, Nik, for being the best pseudo brother a girl could ask for.