Being One of Five

Olivia - Hudson,, New York
Entered on November 12, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I am the second oldest of five kids. We are a pretty big family! When my mom and dad got married they both wanted to have five kids and 13 years later, well, here we are! There are lots of fun and special things that come with being in a big family, but there are definitely some downsides. Like:

It’s pretty squished when you have to squeeze seven people brushing their teeth in the bathroom at night.

Having to rescue my baby brother from the swing when he has so many layers that he is stuck was funny, but difficult! Not many people have a little brother who is always begging to play football all day long, or a big sister who is always showing off what she thinks is a perfect split, or asking me to inspect her outfits. I have to wait my turn for the computer, phone, and the piano. Whenever any of us want to make a snack we had better be ready to triple it! We fight over who has to clean our baby brother’s high chair which is always filled with either noodles, applesauce, or some sort of cookie, and who has to play dolls with our youngest sister.

Some of my favorite things about being in a big family are how we race each other to my baby brother’s crib when he wakes up, which is when he is most happy. There’s always someone to comfort me when I have a rough day. And usually my brother will come outside with me to feed the animals when it’s pitch black and scary out. My older sister lets me crawl in bed with her if I have a bad dream. When I make a mistake, my little sister backs me up. I almost always have a sibling to help me with my homework.

I definitely wouldn’t want life any other way. It would be so strange to have to one to snuggle with. No one to play with. No one to fight with. No one to jump in leaves with. No one to cheer me on when I ride more than a foot on my unicycle. No sister to get mad at me when I beat her at Monopoly. No one to wrestle with over the remotes with when (on occasion) we get to watch a movie.

If I were an only child, I would have to spend all day with my parents and no time with kids. If I had one sibling I would get bored of playing with just them and would be lonely a lot. My big family teaches me sharing (and lots of it), being patient, and to make myself helpful and lots more that I wouldn’t learn I if were in a small family. I believe that being one of five is challenging, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.