I believe that having older siblings is my greatest blessing.
The youngest of five children, my three older sisters and one older brother were forming friendships before I was born. When I arrived 18 months later I’m not sure they were that excited. I mean, my brother, already had three younger sisters, what’s one more?
We grew up in a three bedroom house, nothing large for a seven person family. The girls, Meghan, Erin and Tara happily shared a bedroom that created more time for sisterly bonding. Kenny, the only boy had his own room since he was a baby. And lucky for him, when I arrived he was sharing a room with my crib. I don’t know if he was that nice to me while I shared his already tiny bedroom, but the occasional scream to our parents to let them know I was awake or unhappy was sufficient enough.
I was a little on the chubby side, born with a full head of jet black hair, just like my older siblings. I reached my toddler years eating baby food I could barely swallow because my sisters ate the good kinds first; willing to share with one another, but not me. Years later, when my black hair turned blonde “you’re adopted” rang through my ears. They already had their cliques. Tara was always with Kenny and Meghan and Erin were inseparable. I was the odd girl out, spending time with my parents while my siblings were together having fun.
We grew up together. We played and didn’t share; rode bikes and fought. We had fun then threw chalk at each other; tattled on one another and laughed at their expense. We were selfish and mean but we loved each other.
I would have never called us “friends” when we were younger. We played and talked but we were kids and we were family. We were all we had. That time together made us grow together. We knew everything about each other. We stood up for each other when it was necessary and stayed away when we weren’t wanted. We went through high school with our own friends and, like other siblings, barely talking at all. We went through the same experiences only months apart. And although we didn’t share stories then, I don’t think there’s anything we don’t share now.
They are the first people I turn to with good news and the only ones that help me find comfort in my tears. They have guided me, through support and tough love, to a point in my life where I am happy to be. They are my role models. I carry pieces of each one with me through my actions, words and thoughts. They can be seen in my facial expressions and heard through my conversations. They are reflections of my personality and best of all I am a reflection of theirs.
I believe we are more than just “family” we are friends, best friends.
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