Goodbye Little Brother

An Ode To My Little Brother As He Leaves Our Family

Our last year as a family, little brother.

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This is an ode to you, little brother.

Throughout my life, I have watched you grow from an inquisitive child, curious about the wondrous nature of the world around you into a conscientious young man brimming with potential, ready to take on all the challenges that will come across your path with the confidence necessary to emerge triumphant, resplendent in glory that will put all that I've done to shame.

How quickly it seems that the time has flown, from when we were just kids running about in our old home in Manhasset Hills. From making new friends together to going to theme parks like Six Flags with all of our cousins, you and I spent more time together than one might expect of siblings with a five year age gap in between. The days that we spent exploring our neighborhood and playing basketball together are long gone now, etched deep into our memories as hazy recollections of a lifetime ago, but the warmth that I feel recalling the strength of our bond never ceases to remind me of how far we've come.

I can't say when exactly our personalities began to emerge, but I remember how our mannerisms began to diverge as we grew older, particularly once you passed through middle school and I began my first year at Stony Brook University. At first, I felt confused at how different we seemed to be; I was still the loud (sometimes obnoxious), hyperactive wild-child that seemed to have no end to a conversation, while you were the one who could go hours without uttering a word.

I failed to realize the subtleties of your awareness at that time; despite your timidity, you were aware of every situation occurring around you all at once, foreshadowing a level of cognizance that not even our parents possessed. Despite all of our clashes as a result of our contrasting dispositions, it seems that we incorporated different aspects of each other's personas throughout our formative years—I learned from you the value of silence and the art of listening, and you grew surer of yourself and your own confidence with each passing year.

Now you're just one year away from graduating high school and I'm only one year away from finishing my MBA, and mom and dad have me taking you around to different colleges to help you decide where you will choose to make your mark for years to come. Our tours to Cornell and Princeton have opened our eyes to the depths of your abilities, and what you could potentially accomplish given the right educational environment, surrounded by peers who are just as quick-witted as you are.

I know that the moment is far off right now, yet I cannot help but feel a sense of impending sadness upon your departure, and my own, from the home that we've shared together for the past 17 years. This will be our last year together as a family.

I am so proud of you and how far you have come. Fly high above the clouds, little brother, and may your wings carry you beyond your wildest imagination to the fulfillment of your dreams.

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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When You Are The Youngest Of 6 Kids

Having five older siblings is the greatest blessing I could have ever asked for. I get best friends for life.

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I am probably one of the luckiest people on the planet because I have so many brothers and sisters. I have three brothers and two sisters. I'm the youngest of the six, so I have had a pretty interesting experience growing up with a big family.

My oldest brother is ten years older than me. All of my siblings were born in the 90s and I wasn't, but I wanted to fit in with them. I had to make sure I watched the same TV shows and movies that they did so I could relate to them. I tried to play the same games that they played, such as SEGA and Nintendo. I was not very good at any of them, but I was just happy to be with my siblings.

Going to school was always interesting because I always had a teacher that one or more of my siblings already had. Every year in school from 1st grade to 12th grade, I always heard, "Oh, I had a few of your siblings." Then, for the rest of the year, my teachers would slip up every once in a while and call me one of my sisters' names. I understood, though, because all of us look alike, so I would just go along with it and act like that was my name.

With my sisters, the three of us look like triplets, even though we are years apart. I get called Jess or Jen a lot by my parents. By process of elimination, they eventually figure out my name. I'm used to it as I respond to anyone who calls me by one of my sister's names.

Being the youngest, I get to see all my brothers and sisters accomplish many things. I watch what they do and learn from it. The problem for me has always been that all of my siblings are brilliant. I have always had to live up to the standards that my siblings set. It hasn't always been easy.

It can be frustrating because anyone that knows my brothers and sisters will automatically compare me to them in terms of intelligence. For example, I took AP Statistics in high school. I knew my teacher had a few of my siblings who were very bright and did well in that class. My teacher probably thought I was an idiot because I struggled in that class.

I have to try and prove to people that I am my own person and that I am just related to really smart people.

I never needed to worry about friends at school because, at the end of the day, I always had my five best friends at home. When we were all younger, we had our own sleepovers and parties, and we played games all the time.

Whenever I needed help with homework, I had my own free tutors at home who were willing to help me understand algebra and biology. Even in college, I still go to them when I need help with an assignment.

They took care of me when I was younger whenever my parents were working. I had my other five parents who were ready to take care of me. They still take care of me today.

Now that I am an adult, I have had to start doing things for myself. It's kind of weird.

I always had everyone else do everything for me or with me. If I needed to go somewhere, they were my chauffeurs. If we went out to eat somewhere, they paid, but now I can drive myself around and pay for things with my own money.

At the end of the day, I have five best friends for life. For me, that is all I need.

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