When I was seven years old, a baby boy and a baby girl were both brought into my life. And this same instance happened again when I was eleven years old, except this time it was two more boys. I considered myself truly blessed to have so many adorable and fun little kids running around and looking up to their big sister.
It wasn't until I found myself changing diapers and cutting everything on their dinner plate into micro bite-size pieces that I realized that this was just the beginning. I would be caring for and helping my parents with these kids for the rest of my life just about. And that is where the curse of being such an older sister came in.
I quickly turned into the live-in babysitter. Everywhere I went or turned, there my brother or sister would be. It was like I couldn't get away from these little monsters. There came a point I would cancel my own plans just to babysit. I loved being around them and spending time with them, but they were just about taking over my personal life. I always wondered if my parents waited so long to have more kids so that I would be able to babysit for them all the time.
I learned that everything I said or did was being watched and analyzed very closely by all of them. I became a role model by the age of eight - remind you I was still sneaking juice boxes to bed at this age. I tried to be the best I could be for them, I kept a tidy room, ate all of the food on my plate and never talked back to my parents, or at least tried not to. I felt they forced me to mature early.
I practiced being a mini mom for years. I learned everything I could about caring for a baby in the time that I had with my siblings. I know how to change a diaper at insane human speed and how to make a full three-course meal all while having a child on my hip. I loved learning and getting comfortable with my siblings. It made me more comfortable later on accepting babysitting jobs from people I didn't even know. I have experience and I will forever carry that with me because of my younger siblings.
Being so much older meant I obviously got my license first, which now meant I was promoted from babysitter to taxi driver. Driving them to and from practice and violin lessons or to go visit mom at work, my work as their chauffeur has yet to cease.
The huge gap between our ages was hard to deal with sometimes, but if it really came down to it, I wouldn't want it any other way. I like being a big sister to four crazy kids. It will always be a little bit of a curse, but an even bigger blessing.