6 "Thank Yous" Every Big Sister Has For Her Little Brother

6 "Thank Yous" Every Big Sister Has For Her Little Brother

An open "thank you" letter to my little brother.
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For five and a half short years, I was an only child. I had Mom and Dad all to myself, all the attention, all the love — I was the luckiest, happiest little girl in the entire world. I didn't think life could get any better. But it did the day you, my little brother, was born. I know you are way cooler than me and, if you ever read this, will only pick on me, but that's OK. I have a few thank you's for you that I haven't quite been able to put into words until now.

Thank you for being my best friend.

We do have a big age difference, but for the first 10 years of your life, that didn't stop us from being inseparable. We did everything together. You even hung out with my friends and me. For the longest time, it was you and me no matter what. We grew apart as I entered my teen years as siblings often do, but I know that doesn't change our friendship, even if it looks different now.

Thank you for having my back.

Whether it's with Mom and Dad, shady friends or ex-boyfriends, you have always had my back in your own, sarcastic, snarky way. Even if you and I disagree often, we always join forces and support each other against all other enemies, even if we might be in the wrong. That's just how it works. You're also the best designated driver and designated bug killer. Thanks, Bro.

Thank you for embarrassing me.

This is a surprising thank you, I know. I am positive your No. 1 goal in life has been to embarrass me. You have succeeded many times. When you were 5, you punched a guy friend of mine because you thought he had a crush on me. When you were 9, you dressed up in camouflage, war paint and fake gun in tow. You hid in the bushes to wait for my first date to pick me up and jumped out, all decked out, shooting your fake gun — nearly scaring him away when he arrived (it's possible you did. We never went out again.) In those moments, I was irate. Now, I laugh and I thank you because I know that it's all just a part of brotherly love. We also have plenty of funny stories to tell.

Thank you for laughing with me.

We have our own language, one that doesn't require speaking. We burst out into giggles with just a look across the table at dinner, annoying our parents to no end, likely all due to the one of many inside jokes we have from our childhood. I know if I need a laugh, you are the one person who can always give that to me, whether it's with a "Family Guy" marathon or a corny meme. At the end of the day, we just get each other.

Thank you for keeping me in check.

Okay, first off, your intelligence blows me away. I still have a hard time grasping the fact that you are becoming your own person and are quite possibly smarter than I am. You aren't afraid to tell me when I am wrong. You are the one person who can do that and I will listen to immediately, because I know although you enjoy being right as much as I do, it is with good intentions. You remind me to stick to my guns, to think before I speak and to argue with education and purpose. You keep me honest and genuine to all whom I love... and myself.

Thank you for making me proud to call myself your big sister.

It's about to get gushy. You are making me more proud every single day. Your confidence, persistence and sense of humor are admirable and will get you far in both your personal and professional life. You treat girls with respect and have incredible taste, never settling for just a pretty face (this is such a relief, you have NO idea.) You have big goals and big dreams for the future, but I know if anyone can reach them, it's you. After all, you are my little brother and I expect nothing short of greatness.

I love you, always, little bro. Stop growing up, you're making me look uncool and really short.

-Your Big Sis

Cover Image Credit: Alexandra Collier

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To The Sister About To Move Away, Girl, You've Got This

You may not physically be here right now, but you're always with our family.

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You were there on the day I was born, somehow sleeping soundly as our mom gave birth to me. I'll never forget the photograph of her presenting me to the world and you sitting beside her, holding up your newly-purchased beanie baby with pride as if being handed this toy was equal to the miracle of birth.

It was a crab, by the way, which somehow makes it funnier.

Growing up, you loved to trick me. You'd make me do chores for you and steal my favorite Barbies, but I think that's just part of being an older sister. I'd stick my tongue out at you and cry out the same phrase, "Mooooom, Sissy is being mean to me!" In fact, I yelled this phrase so often that it began to take on a musical quality.

You were mean at times, but you always had my back. You physically beat up other children that had wronged me, and you let me crawl into your bed so we could watch TV together and exchange stories. We'd often immerse ourselves in fantasy worlds where we were princesses and we rode unicorns side-by-side.

But we grew up, and our fantasy world evaporated like the muddy puddles we'd play in after stormy nights. One second it was there, and then, it was just gone. I remember having a conversation a few years back where we wondered if we had known the last time we played Barbies would, in fact, be our last.

When I was a seventh grader, you were a junior in high school. Our problems were very different back then, but that didn't stop us from talking endlessly about them. We were so similar. We bonded over cheerleading, cute boys, books and music. But even more than that, we bonded over our similar life views and questions about the universe. We both possessed an innate love for life yet we were both distrustful of society's guidelines.

Watching you enter new life phases enthralled me. I thought, Wow, that will be me someday. I danced around the house in each of your four prom dresses, my imagination taking me to a place much grander than a high school gymnasium. Through your stories, I romanticized the future and hoped that I would be as cool as you.

It was a little tough at times, though, always longing for a different part of life. When I entered junior high, all I wanted was to be in high school. When I entered high school, I decided college was much cooler because that's what you said. And you were certainly right about that one.

You were the only one I felt comfortable sharing my writing with, the only one I knew could read the meaning behind my sideways glances. We just got each other in every way.

And we still do. To this day, you are one of the people I love and trust most. I don't know what I am going to do without you by my side, as you've been right there for 20 years. But I'm so proud of you. Of the many things we would lay around and talk about throughout the years, one topic persisted: moving away. Moving used to be a pipe dream, something beautiful that lived in your mind but would never come to pass.

And then you took a chance. And now that dream is a reality.

I want you to know how much I admire you. You are so incredible and resilient. I've never met anyone so strong-minded and willing to fight for what she believes in. You would never compromise yourself or your values for another person, but you are generous with others and so kind-hearted.

You are curious about the world and have a desire to learn about life and the richness it has to offer. That is a special quality that cannot be learned. You are beautiful in every way and are truly a blessing to have as a sister.

And it is from these very qualities and so many others that I know you will do great on your own. Sure, it's super tough at first; nobody said it would be easy. But if anyone can do it, then that person is certainly you.

I will always cherish our moments together, and you can always count on me to be there on the sidelines cheering you on, no matter where your adventure takes you.

Much love,

Your Little Sis

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