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Column: Blessed to be a big sister

Photo via Anaiah Davis

If there’s anything I’ve learned from having younger siblings, it’s that you’re never supposed to turn your back on little kids. Ever.

Many years ago, I woke up one morning, looked in the mirror and discovered in disbelief that my sister had cut off several inches of my hair in the middle of the night. She protests her innocence to this day, but my older siblings and I know the truth.

Needless to say, there have been many points in growing up with my younger sisters, now 10 and 15, that I stopped and thought, “I wonder what it would be like to be an only child.” To be fair, those were fleeting moments because I don’t know what I’d do without them.

If I’m being honest, the idea of having little sisters was exciting, but I wasn’t entirely thrilled when they arrived. All of a sudden, there were tiny humans who cried all the time, followed me around the moment they could walk and took the attention away from me. I genuinely thought it was a scam.

As time went on, though, the initial discontent wore off and I realized they weren’t so bad after all. Nowadays, the bond between my younger sisters and I is stronger than ever. They are the only people on the planet that can truly get under my skin, but the times they make me laugh until I can’t breathe make it all worthwhile.

Having younger siblings is daunting at times because I know they’re always watching and looking up to me. I’ve done my best to guide them, encourage them and be their voice of reason when the world seems upside down. 

Now that I’m away at college, some of my sisters’ behaviors that I once found bothersome are the ones I miss the most. I certainly don’t long to argue with a 10-year-old again, but sometimes I just want her to come into my room and tell me goodnight five times before she actually goes to bed.

Overall, being an older sibling is something you could only understand if you’ve experienced it yourself. It’s being an adversary but also a best friend, and constantly irritating but always loved. In my case, it was like accepting a job I didn’t know I ever wanted, and now it’s one of my biggest blessings.

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