When You Give A Girl A Brother

When You Give A Girl A Brother

You've made her smile a little harder and skin a little tougher.

Recently, I wrote an article titled 'When You Give A Girl A Sister' describing the highlights of what it means to have sisters. They had no idea I was going to write about them until it was actually live on Odyssey! Well, if you're anything like me, you were not only blessed with beautiful sisters, but brothers as well. That's right. I am the youngest of 5 kids, meaning I have 2 bothers and 2 sisters. So brother, this one's for you!

Growing up, I have had the time of my life simply because of my siblings, with my fair share of adventures, scraped knees, and life lessons; however, when you give a girl a brother, you've given her someone that could never be replaced.

When you give a girl a big brother, you've given her a hand to hold and a shoulder to lean on. He's the hero you run to when your dad isn't around. You've given her someone to watch over her and make sure no harm comes her way.

When you give a girl a brother, you give her someone to make a big deal out of her birthday (and probably your favorite gifts too). Especially when he's more creative than you've ever been. You may just end up with a circus themed birthday filled with popcorn machines, bouncy houses, and cotton candy makers.

When you give a girl a brother, you give her someone she actually looks like in the family. Seriously, the blonde hair and light eyes is like hidden treasure in this family.

Giving a girl a brother is more than giving her someone to annoy for the rest of her life. It's giving her someone she can rely on as she grows and someone who will defend her in difficult times. It's giving her a place to run to when she doesn't want to be at home right then.

When you give a girl a brother, you've given her one of the toughest critics. He will try at first to hide his ill feelings towards certain things, but the truth will always show on his face. Giving her a brother isn't just giving her a critic, it's giving her a terrible liar as well.

When you give a girl a brother, you give her someone that forces her to eat healthier. You give her a workout partner, or better yet a personal trainer. You've given her someone to push her to greater heights than she even thought possible for herself.

When you give a girl a brother, you give her someone to root for her during cheerleading competitions and Friday night home games. Even if he doesn't know all the lingo or 411 about your competitions, he'll be right beside your mom screaming your name.

When you give a girl a brother, be prepared for family gossip. You've given her someone to sit next to at family events and make fun of certain things they overhear or see.

Giving her an older brother means any boy she brings around is judged on the spot. He knows your taste sometimes better than you do and knows when the guy will be a complete dud (sorry guys!)

When you give a girl a brother, you give her (and her sisters) someone to annoy until the very end with their bickering. You give them someone to break up petty fights and occasionally allow them to continue when he finds them entertaining. Whether it be about who ate the last cookie in the box or who stole the other's t-shirt. Yes, the brothers hear it all, even things they would've rather never known.

Being lucky enough to have sisters is one thing, but to have an older brother, too, is something unimaginable. You give her the type of protection and love she couldn't find anywhere else.

When you give a girl a brother, you give her an alliance, a role model, and a hero. You've given her someone to aspire to be.

When you give a girl a brother, you give her the world simply by having him around.

I thank God for giving me the brother I was blessed with. Someone as generous, caring, and noble as he is. Without a brother, I probably wouldn't be as fearless or light-hearted. I love you more than words can say, and no amount of 'thank you's' will ever suffice.


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I Drifted But Now I'm Reaching Out

I'm not going to isolate myself anymore.

I’ve noticed that since I started college, I dropped a lot of habits. Some were habits that I really needed to get rid of, such as picking at my nails and snacking way too much. Other habits, though, I really shouldn’t have dropped. Maybe I just got too busy or lazy, or maybe it was just something for the high school me. Yeah, I’ve changed a lot in college but I’m going to try and get back into the good habits I had.

College gave me a lot of time. Suddenly I had all this free time and I realized that it was entirely up to me what I wanted to do with it. The freedom is really great, I won’t deny that, but what I noticed was that I found myself alone a lot.

Maybe it was my intention that some days I just wanted some alone time, but more often than not I found myself realizing that I hadn’t seen or talked to friends in a while. I realized I wasn’t hanging out with people anymore. I was alone.

Now, I know the importance of myself reaching out. Before I always worried that there was a reason I wasn’t seeing or talking to people as often, I mean, there was school so maybe everyone was just busy.

But I feared that I was missing out on so much was because I was unwanted in those moments. After gaining confidence, I've decided won’t isolate myself anymore. I’m an outgoing person, but I won’t be selectively outgoing anymore.

In high school, I could barely go two classrooms down without seeing someone and stopping to talk to them, and I want college to be the same way. It’s really impossible to know everyone at your college but reaching out isn’t that hard for me to do, I’ve just been lazy. I haven’t put in as much effort as I should be putting in and I know that if I want to keep some of the amazing friendships that I currently have, I need to not be distant.

It’s easy to drift away when emotions and events start piling up. Sometimes, the only thing I want to do is just lay in bed and not think about my to-do lists and schedules and problems that I have.

Once I start doing that though, I get sucked in and it becomes so hard to get the energy to get up and move. I don’t want that to be the case anymore. I don’t want to hide away with the “what ifs” and speculation as to why I didn’t go or get invited. From now on, I’m just going to go, and then see what happens.

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To My Best Friends, Thank You

I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you.

I have gone through many friends in the past few years, some that lasted a while some that only lasted a few months, but you know exactly when you found your perfect person, soulmate, best friend, the one that will never get away. It’s the friends that stick with you through the toughest times and stay.

The ones you call at 3:00 a.m. because you got into a fight with your boyfriend and can’t sleep and they stay on the phone until your ready to sleep. The ones that you can count on to pick you up because you need a ride no matter where you are.

Dear Best Friends,

I just wanted to thank you for being you and for letting me be me. Thank you for letting me feel so much like myself when I’m with you. Thank you for sharing in my happiest moments, and for listening to my saddest stories and giving compassion and empathy from wherever you are. Thank you for being the only person I ever want to confide in. Thank you for being the most beautiful person, inside and out.

Thank you for making the world a better place, just by being in it. Thank you for defining selfless, always putting others before yourself, you are going to change the world just as much as you have changed mine. Thank you for all the memories we made at Disney this year on our senior trip. Thank you for practically being my second Mom.

Thank you for setting the bar so high and making it impossible to find another friend as good as you. Thank you for making these past years we have been friends feel like forever and for giving me enough memories to last a lifetime, but not ending there.

Thank you for making me hurt when I miss you, but for taking the hurt away when I see you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for the absolute privilege of being able to call you my best friend, thank you for being my person. Thank you for giving me these reasons, and a million more, to be thankful for.

I sometimes find myself looking back on my life and realizing how huge of a part you have played in keeping me steady when the rest of my world has been falling apart. How you have known what to say and do in the moments when I have felt all control slipping through my fingers.

Even if it’s just dropping everything and taking me for coffee, shopping and listening to me try to untangle the mess I call my life. Thank you for those days when the rest of the world is against me, for making me feel less alone. For believing every silly dream which enters my head and being excited for me about things which no one else understands. Thank you for always validating my emotions, for taking my side, for telling me when I’m wrong, for being honest.

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