I believe in my sister, although I would never tell her so to her face. My mom would roll her eyes at me, hearing me say that, and tell me that I should just tell her. I would roll my eyes right back and ignore that motherly advice.
My sister is two years younger than me and my opposite in every way. Being older than her, I did everything I could to keep her under my authority and control. When we were younger, we used to play a “game” called robot. I would sit in a chair and she would come up to me and say, in a robots voice, “I am a robot, give me something to pick up” and then I would tell her something in the room that needed to be cleaned up and she would put it in its correct place. We would play until our entire bedroom was clean. I would have remained sitting in my chair the entire time, while she cleaned the whole room.
Then my uncle taught her how to beat me at wrestling and things were never the same. She was four. At four years old, she could pin me in three seconds flat. She learned how to stand up for herself and robot became a funny story to tell while we cleaned our room together. She began playing sports and was good at everything she tried. We played soccer together occasionally and she used to say, “How come you’re better than me?” She didn’t understand that the physical ability to compete between a twelve year old and a fourteen year old was drastically different. Eventually she grew taller than me and improved beyond my skill level. In middle school, I spent most of my time on the phone with friends, talking about boys or movies or whatever middle school girls talk about, while she spent hours doing homework at the dining room table, memorizing all the countries of the world and their locations on the globe for her geography class.
Her determination and stubborn refusal to quit motivate her and she has excelled in sports and academics beyond what I have accomplished. And yet, she still looks up to me, simply because I am older and she is younger. What she doesn’t know is that, in many ways, I look up to her. I admire how easily she makes friends, in contrast with my shy personality. I admire how dedicated she is to everything she does: to running every day, playing all kinds of sports, studying hard, and to being a good person. I admire how much she has changed since she was a little girl taking my orders. And because I would never tell her to her face, I’m writing this essay instead. Bobbie, I believe in you.
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