The Universe knew I needed a brother

The Universe Knew I Needed A Little Brother To Make Me Who I Was Meant To Be

Who knew my biggest annoyance would also be my biggest teacher?

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Everyone has a love/hate relationship with their siblings. And if you say that you don't, you're either crazy or you're lying. Growing up, sometimes I asked myself, "Why aren't I an only child?"

My littlest brother has been bugging me since I was 4. He was born, and at the time I'm sure I thought it was the greatest thing to ever happen to me. Then he started talking. And walking. And figuring out how to push my buttons in ways that no human being ever could. (Don't worry little bro, I'll say nicer things about you later, just keep reading.)

My brother and I fought more than any pair of siblings I'd ever met in my childhood. My friends had little brothers but none of them ever seemed as fed up with theirs as I was with mine. There were times when he didn't even have to speak and I'd be furious with him. Everything set us off. As kids, we used to fight each other (physically), even though I was probably triple his weight. I remember a time when he knocked out one of my teeth, and in return, I hit him so hard he had bruises.

Do we sound certifiably insane yet? No? Just wait, it gets better.

We continued this kind of fighting until I was well into my teens. By that time he was growing, and soon he and I were an even match in terms of strength and height. This made our "wrestling" as my mom liked to call it, all the more crazy.

Once it got so heated during a car ride that we both started yelling ways we would kill the other if we had the chance. (This is the part that makes us really sound crazy.) We went back and forth for what felt like an eternity, but the funny part is that by the time we reached our destination, we were laughing so hard we had tears. We were complimenting the other's creativity and trying so hard to outdo each other coming up with the funniest ways to die.

The point of this is not to make everyone think that all we ever did was scream at each other. He's one of my favorite people on Earth, and a lot of my best childhood memories took place with him next to me.

What really helped was when I went off to college. It caught me by surprise how much I missed him. I checked in with him more than I expected, which probably annoyed him, and I found that I missed being in his company. I even missed our fights.

Now that I'm entering adulthood and he's living out his long-awaited teenage years, our fighting is less frequent and less intense.

I reflect back on my childhood growing up with my little brother, and I realized that if I hadn't had him by my side, I wouldn't be the person I am today and I'd lack a lot of the qualities that I love about myself. Part of the reason I'm tough and independent is that I had to be, growing up with him. Fighting with him taught me that I had to be able to hold my own in the world. He taught me the importance of family.

I'm extremely protective of the people I love, because of him. Growing up my little brother relied on me for a lot, whether he liked it or not. Watching out for him was an inherent part of who I was, it still is. But he also taught me that it's okay to lean on other people because I relied on him a lot too.

The older I got, the more I found myself defending him, trying to help others understand why he did some of the things he did. Maybe it's a sibling thing, or maybe it's all the years we spent harassing each other, but I've always been able to know what he means when he can't quite find the words.

I'm a good arguer. I know how to be patient. I'm good at resolving issues between myself and other people. Because those are all skills I had to develop to survive life growing up with him.

I wouldn't change my relationship with my little brother for anything in the world.

He's one of the best people I know. He is someone who may annoy me to no end but also inspires me every single day. The list of things I admire about him is just as long, if not longer, than the list of ways he annoys me. He thinks in ways no one else does, and he's a constant source of entertainment. He has street smarts I wish I had, and a perspective on life that few others can see. He's funny, creative, stubborn, and everything I'd ever want in a sibling.

I used to wonder why I had a little brother. Why I wasn't able to have the only-child life I thought I wanted. I know now, that the universe knew what it was doing all along. The universe knew I would need a constant pain-in-the-butt, in the form of a blue-eyed, blonde-haired psycho, to push me to be who I was meant to me. To show me all the things I needed to be to have the life I was meant to have. The universe brought my brother and me together in the same life, in the same family, because without him I'd be a very, very different human being.

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A Thank You Letter To My Siblings

What’s better than having three closets to check for clothes? Nothing.
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Dear Siblings,

Growing up, I have realized that you are the most precious people in my life and I wanted you all to know how thankful I am for all the things you say and do.

Thank you for being my friend. Nothing is better than knowing I always have an unconditional, consistent relationship in life. You are my go-to when I am experiencing not only my high moments, but my low moments. You know exactly what to say to make me feel like I have the world in my hands. You push me. You also know what to do and say to pick me up, when I’ve been pushed and pushed. You are always there for me through every ex-friend or ex-boyfriend. You let me keep a spare key or know your garage code, as you are always welcoming me with a movie or dinner. You are always honest with me, because you look out for me and keep my best interests in mind- even if I do not know it until months later. You support me more than anyone else as you came to my sporting events as a kid and continue to attend special events. You know me better than anyone else and still choose to be there for me and love me- my mistakes, decisions, flaws and all.

Thank you for being my personal stylist. What’s better than having three closets to check for clothes? Nothing. You let me steal clothes when I am stressing over a night out or first date. In fact, you throw clothes and jewelry at me because you are so excited for me. Thank goodness we have similar body types. Unless you are my brother, who is asking to go out with me or asking what I am wearing or why I am going on a date. Thanks anyways for letting me borrow your sweatshirts and big T-shirts because over sized tops are so comfortable and so in. (By the way, I have a few to give back) If you are my sisters, you offer to braid my hair or curl it because you know if you do not do it, I will go and straighten it. You offer to do my makeup because I am just not up-to-date with the latest trends and items. You compliment me and make me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. Once again, unless you’re my brother and are forced to say, “You look nice.”

Thank you for stepping up to fill big shoes when you did not have to. Ever since I can remember, you stepped up and became more than a sibling. You did things for me that no fifteen year old boy or twelve year old girl should have to do for their little sister. You looked after me when you could have spent your night with your friends or you cooked me dinner when I was hungry. You taught me that I can get through anything with a smile on my face. I do not know where I would be if I did not have you all to lean on while growing up. Even now, you do things for me that you do not have to do. You make sure I have a laptop so I can succeed in college or you pay a bill to help me with other bills. You are always looking out for me and wanting me to succeed.

Thank you for being my handyman. Because of you, I never have to rely on some boy or spend money for someone to help me with a repair, maintenance or car issues. If you are my sister, you ask your husband but if you are my brother, you teach me. Unless you lose your patience with me and just say, “Seriously?!” Brother, I do not know where or how you learned all that you know but it is definitely a talent because you can tackle any issue if it involves your hands and tools. You are so incredibly smart. Thank you for dropping everything to fix a clogged toilet, leak in the sink or flat tire. Your work does not go unnoticed.

Thank you for being such wonderful role models. You may not realize it, but I look up to you all more than you know. As your little sister, I think you all are the most beautiful, loving, selfless, strong, forgiving, talented and smartest individuals I know. You all are such amazing people that are doing great things in life and I cannot wait to continue watching. Whether you fail or succeed, I learn from it and that is why I am where I am today. You all are constantly teaching me life lessons, after experiencing so much in life, and helping me be the best I can be.

It’s true, the greatest gift out parents ever gave us was each other. I am who I am and have made it this far because I have you all by my side.

Love,

“Lil Sis”

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To The Guy Who Will Marry My Older Sister, My Sister And I Are A Package Deal

I hope you know what you're getting yourself into!

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When you marry my sister, you will not just be marrying her, but her entire family. That includes me. You should know that I'm very protective of my siblings and only want what is best for them. I know you're a great guy and I'm so happy that you've proposed and are in the beginning stages of planning the wedding. I couldn't be happier for you two.

Know that my older sister has six younger siblings that think you're a great guy. We're beyond ecstatic that you've come into not only her life but ours as well. You've shown us what a true gentleman looks like these days. You surprised us by how quickly you jumped right into our family life, not caring that we're loud, chaotic, and just a lot to deal with because there are so many of us. Countless people have told me that they can't imagine what it's like growing up in a family of seven kids, but not you. You grew up with only two younger siblings, not six younger siblings like my older sister did. But instead of shying away from our quirkiness, you threw yourself into our lives and fit right in. That's how I knew you were the one for my sister.

To the guy who will marry my older sister, I think you know what this means. I think you know that my sister is crazy and that you aren't marrying someone "normal." My older sister has many needs, needs that I personally think are just really extra. But what do I know? I'm just the younger sister who's only job was to tease, make fun of, and embarrass my older sister. My sister is the best older sister, though. She's the one who would tell me to stop talking in public so I wouldn't embarrass her, or myself. She's the one who would not say anything to anyone, so I did all of the talking for the two us. This typically ended up with me getting in trouble. Now that we're adults, I'm so thankful my sister, has you. You two balance each other out so well.

To the guy who will marry my older sister, thank you. My parents have prayed for my sister's future husband since she was a baby. When I found out that the two of you were officially official, I prayed that God would make it clear very quickly if this was the right move or not. It for sure was. Looking back over the last two years, I can see how God orchestrated all of this. In fact, looking back over the course of my sister's life and how God prepared both of you to come together at just the right time is stunning. God's handiwork never ceases to amaze me (I mean, after all, He is God). My sister isn't perfect, and I know you aren't, either. But you're perfect for each other, and I'm so excited to welcome you into my family with open arms. Here's to forever!

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