I have always considered being a "Big Sister" as a huge part of my identity. Some people simply say they have siblings, but don't really consider it a huge part of who they are. In my world, being a sister has shaped me for all that I am. My little brother and I are seven years apart!! Which is a pretty big gap between siblings. My brother's name is Brad and we could've not been any more different. He hates school and I love it. I'm a social butterfly and he usually keeps to himself. He learned how to swim in 10 minutes. I took swimming classes for a year and can barely float. I cry when I get yelled at and my brother shrugs it off.
Some people would think that we wouldn't have a great relationship because our ages, personalities, and interests are so different. However, since I became a sort of "Mother Figure" to my brother, we are extremely close. He knows about all the college happenings and I get to hear about all the middle school drama.
Now, don't get me wrong. Yes, Brad and I are very close. And yes, being a "Big Sister" has shaped my life. However, there are just some experiences that we BIG brothers and sisters have to go through that younger siblings just don't understand.
1. Being responsible for getting them ready for school
(Circa 2011) I don't blame him, I can barely get up for my 9am
The thing about being the older sibling is that you not only have to drag YOUR butt out of bed on time, but you're also responsible for dragging another butt out of bed on time. This was probably one of the more difficult jobs for me because of 1. I am not a morning person and 2. Brad is not a morning person. Also, he would always find a way to go back to bed causing BOTH OF US to be late. Not to mention having to force him to brush his teeth and wipe the dried drool off his face. Please tell me I'm not the only one who dreaded spending the whole morning with their younger sibling?!
2. They don't take you seriously when you scold them
(Circa 2012) If this doesn't describe the typical sibling relationship, then what does?
Whether they're not focusing on the homework that you've been trying to explain to them 1000+ times or they're meddling with your stuff again, you never seem to the "right" authority figure to do the whole disciplining job. You're not old enough to be respected and you're not young enough for them to fully get along with you. The result? You getting a massive headache while they make faces at you.
3. Not knowing how to control them when they act out in public
(Circa 2011) Taken at the dentist's office while my Mom was getting her teeth cleaned
Since the age gap between me and my brother is a pretty lengthy, babysitting has essentially become my full-time job. "I'm going somewhere, take care of your brother" "I have to leave for a business trip, take care of your brother." Of course, you can't say no. And you won't be caught dead complaining (especially in a Filipino family). So you just have to deal with it. The result? Wrestling your brother at the dentist's office, chasing him in the aisles of Target, and dragging him on the floor in the middle of his tantrum at an Olive Garden.
4. They literally follow you everywhere
(Circa 2012) My face says it all.
I love being a big sister. But you know, sometimes I need my space. I think the most annoying part of this whole process was going into my teenage years with ZERO privacy. My brother was always scared to sleep in his own room or be by himself, so guess where he ended up sleeping? Yup. MY ROOM. Everywhere I look and everywhere I go, he's always there. It's as if he were my shadow. I can't even take a selfie without him popping up in the background. Oddly, I remember this one time he went camping for a week, and it was silent...a bit too silent. I can't be the only one who goes through this process of dreading my brother when he's constantly around me but missing him when he's gone.
5. Embarrassing them in public
(Circa 2010) JUST LOOK AT HIS FACE BAHAHA
Of course, they're going to have to repay for all the headaches they've caused somehow. How do you like being stared at in Target now little bro?
6. Your phone is never safe
(Circa 2013) The Selfie King
"Has anyone seen my phone??!!"
*footsteps start running*
I think we've all been in this kind of scenario before. You wrestle your sibling until you get your phone out of their grimy hands and you either end up with a dozen selfies or a whole YouTube playlist of Minecraft videos.
7. Introducing them to your favorite hobbies (whether or not they like it)
(Circa 2014) Rare pic of my brother reading
They may be into it...and they may not. It all depends on the person. Unfortunately, by brother is not much of an avid reader. BUT I did catch him downloading To All the Boys I've Loved Before on my Kindle...hmmmm
8. If they screw-up, you're somehow always responsible
(circa 2015) I CAN'T STRESS THIS ENOUGH. IT IS SOOOO ANNOYINGGGG
How does this even make sense????
And yes, this is a question for all parents (cough cough especially mine). Is there some magic thread that connects us together? Why is the older sibling always responsible for something that was clearly NOT THEIR FAULT???
Well, whatever the science behind this irksome phenomenon I just can't stand it. And I am sick an tired of hearing, "That's just a part of being an older sister/brother." I mean, I get it. I kinda partially raised this kid, but hey, he's YOUR KID TOO.
The worst part is that sometimes I feel like younger siblings just don't understand this concept. So let's just put it this way: It's kind of like introducing a friend to your family, and then your friend just acts super inappropriate. Although it's not YOU who's acting inappropriate, it is then a reflection of YOU. However, the trouble here is that my sibling is not a reflection of me (at least not entirely). Though we are basically two peas in a pod, there should be separate actions for discipline for every individual. I mean, I don't see HIM getting scolded for something I did. *Rolls Eyes*
9. Being forced to match with them on every occasion
(Circa 2015) Okay, but I actually think this is kinda cute
This would actually make sense if me and my brother were only 1-3 years apart, or maybe if we were twins. I have to admit, it's kinda embarrassing going around trick-or-treating with your high school friends (who are matching with their baes mind you) and bringing along your 5th grader sibling. Embarrassing or not, it does make for a really cute photo.
10. Being there for them through all their milestones (especially the awkward ones)
(Circa 2016) First day of middle school!! (PEEP THOSE SOCKS)
I vividly remember sitting down with him in the hallway for a good 2 hours, teaching him how to open his locker. But hey, who wouldn't want to miss out on those good 'ol awkward stages. Do you remember giving your sibling some advice? Do you remember them asking you for advice? The transition between Elementary to Middle School can be pretty funny to witness. I'm just glad that I was there to take in all of it and have a good laugh. Hey, maybe I'll show these pictures to his future partner one day.
11. Teaching them to love your University
(Circa 2016) "I'LL TEACH YOU THE 8-CLAP" "What?" "12345678 U..C..LLLL..A. U C L A FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT" "uh..no"
I think the biggest transition for me and my brother was telling him I had less time because of college. Unfortunately, that was also during his whole "Middle School Awkwardness" stage. As an older sibling, you have likely gone through most of the experiences your younger sibling has gone through or will go through. When I was his age, I would've really appreciated the extra support and love from my family. How do I make up for not being there all the time? BRINGING HIM TO ALL COLLEGE EVENTS OF COURSE! (Minus the tailgates hehe..)
As far as I'm concerned, he's a future Bruin in training.
12. You never have to feel or act stupid...alone
(Circa 2016) Illuminati Confirmed
From idiotic poses to silly faces, your sibling's going to be right there by your side to do it with you.
13. Watching them go through puberty LOL
(Circa 2017) WHOA WHAT HAPPENED?!
A few months pass by, and when you come back home it's like you're looking at a completely different person. Yep, puberty is actually magic. Well, if you disregard the weird voice cracking and hormonal changes of course. The sad part is that I don't remember going through this much of a change within a year in middle school. So the question remains for us big brothers and sisters: WHERE'S MY GLOW UP???
14. Realizing that puberty means that they've now become angsty teenagers
(Circa 2016) Y U NO GIVE ME KISSES??!?!?
Ah, the sweet sweet memories of teenage angst. Suddenly, they're not so willing to show affection. Suddenly, they're having mood swings and are avoiding you as much as possible (especially when their friends are around). What's going on?!? Oh yeah, the sour teenage years. It makes you stop and think to yourself, "Was I that much of an a-hole when I was 13?" Nevertheless, this teenage angst somehow fuels you to become more embarrassing and affectionate than they could possibly handle. Bombarding them with questions like: "Do you have a boy/girlfriend yet?" "Do you have a crush at school?" "Tell me all your secrets." Of course, they ignore you, roll their eyes, and mumble some things in annoyance as they play video games.
15. Accepting that your parents will always be more lenient with them
2017, Shout out to Mr.Lightman for supporting my brother's lifestyle
"When I was your age, I would've gotten in soooo much trouble for that"
"You don't do as much chore as I did when I was your age!"
"Mom and Dad let you do whatever you want!"
"Why are they so much more chill with you?!"
You're jealous because they have more freedom than you did. But remember, that the way you were raised made you become a more responsible individual. Let it go and accept the facts.
16. Having to drive them EVERYWHERE
(2018) One of many car rides
Alright mom and dad, I totally understand why you guys were so cranky in the morning on the way to school. On a real note, older siblings often have to be the personal chauffeur for their younger siblings. Whether it be soccer practice, dropping them off at the mall, or a band recital, your parents are really making use of that handy driver's license.
17. Influencing their music tastes
(2018) Abbey Road Records, London (P.S Do you see what I mean with the whole matchy matchy thing??)
Once they grow out of the whole Disney music and weird video game soundtrack phase, it's time to introduce them to music their friends probably don't know about. Most of the music that I share with my brother (WHICH HE LOVES AND APPRECIATES THANK YOU VERY MUCH) was created right here at Abbey Road Records. Well...I guess he'll never truly love Harry Styles, but the rest is a MUST. As an older sibling, you have to stand as a great role model. A part of that responsibility is keeping them away from all this weird "mumble rap" trend and Jake/Logan Paul music videos. PLEASE SAVE YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS FROM BAD MUSIC.
18. Realizing that they've out-grown you
(2018) Paris, France
Is it just me or are first borns naturally always smaller than the ones that come after them? Oh, and don't get me started when people start mistaking you guys to be the same age when you're nearly a decade apart.
19. Knowing you'll still have to "hold their hand" no matter what age they are
(2018) Westminster, London
No matter if they're a whole foot taller than you, you know for a fact they still depend on you for many things. Don't let their height or their age trick you into thinking that they can do everything by themselves now.
20. Knowing you'll jump over mountains and valleys just for them
(2018) Northern Ireland
So they may be a pain the butt from time to time. They may have eaten that snack you were saving in the fridge while you were gone. They may have used your things and broken them. They may have even blamed you for something they did. But hey, you can't help but love 'em to death. (Though you'd never tell them that of course)
So here's to the Margot Coveys, the James Francos, the Kourtney Kardashians, the Beyoncés and the Gigi Hadids of the world. Cheers to us older siblings! May we have the strength to endure many more years of torture.