Growing up with 6 other siblings in a cramped house was hard, and I couldn’t get enough of it. We still fight over the bathrooms during the holidays. When I think back to my earliest childhood memory I can’t help but to giggle as everyone else looks at me quizzically. I must’ve been four or five, Mom and Dad left my biggest sister in charge of us. As soon as it was really late, about 7 p.m., we shut off all the lights in the house and played hide and seek. It was chaos, I was running around the house until my brother would pop out of a doorway with a big plastic bat and chase us around the house. I don’t think I was very sneaky because I was screaming the whole time, but this was exciting. In this moment I knew I loved them, and was addicted to laughing and playing with my siblings as much as possible.
Every week my family sets aside an hour to play games. Capture the flag, basketball, Risk, cards, Monopoly, you name it. My mom would bob in and out of the room to fill us with sweets as my brothers would laugh about their obvious cheating. My dad would try to take this time to demonstrate how to properly put the toilet paper back on the roll while we’d whisper ways to annoy him.
We knew just how to get under each other’s nails. My brother would tease my sister about her needing to wax her back hair and while my mom reassured her of her smooth skin, I would walk in and compliment her on the nice fur sweater she was clearly not wearing. We tease each other with love, to help each other’s egos not get too big. Every time I try to take a nap my brothers would stand outside my door making fake fart sounds with their mouths until I would get so fed up I would come out to find that they already set up the next round of spin Devin in a chair till he pukes. Not a day went by when my family didn’t warm my heart after a hard day. Because we were so comfortable teasing, and being competitive with one another, we were also able to confide in one another. In such an independent world, I am grateful that we have someone to lean on.
Now as a sophomore in college, away from my family, I realize that the lessons my parents tried to teach us about trust, and love were all encompassed through learning to share time with each other. I still bug my roommate to stop studying and play with me. I take the time out of my busy schedule to challenge someone to a game.
Families need to laugh, play, and cherish each other. This I believe
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