Being the oldest sibling is fun because you get to be in charge. But growing up I always wished I had someone that had gone through things first, like braces, high school, and applying to colleges. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I’ve had these people all along. My older cousins have all paved the way for me, and have stepped in as older siblings when I’ve needed it most.
When I was younger you all started out as my babysitters and I was your real-life baby doll. I got carried around everywhere and my cousins’ favorite game to play with me was “Down, Down Baby." As I got older, you guys served as my math tutors, college essay reviewers, informal driving instructors and confidants as I’ve stumbled through high school and college.
Now that we’re all growing up, and you guys are getting married and having your own kids, I wanted to say thank you for all that you all have done for me. You guys have served as the older siblings I’ve always wanted and each of you has influenced me and shaped me into the person I am today.
Especially transitioning into college, it was no secret that I was struggling to adjust. Each of you reached out to me, offered me advice and assured me that my struggles were normal. You shared your own horror stories with me, from roommate troubles to grades to being away from home. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me. You may not have realized it, but you became a support system for me, and have continued to be throughout my college career.
I love returning the favor, and finally being able to become your confidants and advice giver. I’ve been honored to stand with some of you at your weddings, and I love being babysitters for your kids now.I also want to tell you all how proud I am of each of you. You all have chased your dreams and accomplished so much. I know it hasn’t always been easy for you all but you have set an amazing example for me, and shown me to how to persevere even in the toughest times. I feel like this year is the year I have seen everyone the happiest, and the most successful, and it makes me so happy.
I am so thankful for the influence each of you has had on my life. You are more than just my family, you are my forever friends because the bond we share is unbreakable. From family vacations and cousin sleepovers to Black Friday shopping to random trips to Playa Bowls, I cherish all of the memories I have with each of you.
I finally feel like I am a part of the older cousins’ club and I can’t wait for new adventures with all of you in the future. Thank you for paving the way for me, being my supporters, listening to all of my problems and assuring me that it isn’t the end of the world. I love you all so much.