This I Believe

Amy - West Lafayette, Indiana
Entered on February 7, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, love

The bond between sisters has been said to be one of the most rewarding relationships in a female’s life. I, on the contrary, disagree. While I have never had a sister to sister relationship, I believe the connection between a sister and a brother characterizes the most significant bond of a girl’s lifetime.

Growing up alongside three older brothers taught me more about life than I could have ever learned from an organized education, scholarly book, or female sibling. Regardless of the arguments and fist fights, I have always seen them as heroic figures of my life.

The “boys do not hit girls” rule did not apply to my brothers and me. We would go weeks without one nice thing to say to each other resulting in physical brawls. Once on a family vacation after being told repeatedly by my brothers I had been adopted, I snapped. I yelled, cried, punched, and even tried to run away. Despite the overall distaste for one another, I still praised them. With every move they made, I assumed they could do no wrong. Moreover, I now recognize every fight has molded my confidence and independence, and having to constantly defend myself has taught me strength and persistence as a young woman.

Once my brothers proceeded into the real world, the vital turning point arrived in our relationships. The pettiness dissolved, and we formed bonds that grow stronger every day. Since high school, I have been the only sibling at home, but my brothers and I keep in close contact to remind me of my values. We share a common respect, and while I never doubt the brotherly protection of his sister, I am always more appreciative than annoyed. The expectations of me are high, and I use that as positive motivation for myself.

Being raised in a house with an overall happiness to be with family has exhibited the greatest force of love on me. Recently, two of my brothers have married. They display such a wholesome example of love and show their adoration through their eyes and the way they smile. Knowing them as I do, I recognize a particular feeling within them when I see one. My brothers symbolize the man I am supposed to marry, and settling for anyone that will make me feel any less loved than my sisters-in-law would be doing me a great disservice. Ironically enough, from the childish brawls to the loving husbands they are today, nearly everything I learned about love came from my brothers.

As days pass, life is entertained by new experiences influencing how to see the world. Living independently now, forming new attitudes about life is inevitable. However, with my brothers acting as such constructive role models, they instill great confidence and self respect in me. I do not need them by my side every waking moment, but they are a constant reminder to live and love life to its fullest.