On Why I Love To Hate Being The Oldest

On Why I Love To Hate Being The Oldest

Little Sisters, man...
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It is inevitable that in every family that does not have only one child that there will be an oldest. In my family, that position falls to me. And in many ways it is miserable, but in many other ways, it is the best thing that could happen to me.

When asked, my little sister always replies that she "loves being the youngest because she gets all the attention" and in many ways, this is true. Despite being only a year away from high school, my mother seems to be under the impression that she is literally an infant (and probably will be for all of eternity). If she does something wrong or forgets to put something away, she is always excused with the explanation that she is "so little!"

Me, on the other hand, had the exact opposite hand.

I was told that I was "older" and it was "my responsibility" to take care of things such as putting clothing away, or driving my siblings' places, or helping my mom out with chores around the house. Just as she will always be an infant in my mother's eyes, I will always be a wise old woman.

She got a phone in third grade, while I had to wait until middle school. Because "times are changing!" She can watch whatever show she wants, even though I had parental censors on my life until I was all but packing my belongings into college boxes. She has a comprehensive list of which classes to take in high school, while I discovered it all through trial and error. In many ways, she lives a life that is easier than mine.

However, there are two sides to every coin. She gets babied, this is undeniable. And while this is fun when you're in elementary school, no 13-year-old wants to hear it. She has 4 sets of eyes judging her every move (my brother and I are essentially the second set of parents), something I never had to deal with. She is out of the loop: she doesn't get half of the jokes that we make at dinner, and can't understand half of the arguments that we have.

And she doesn't get to have the joy of watching a baby sister grow up.

It is one of the most beautiful things, to somehow watch her morph from this thing that just slept and cried into a human being. Into a little sister that I could order around and dress up and until she finally became a best friend that I can share stories with and laugh with and gossip with and simply be with.

Every time I come home from college it seems that she has aged years, and before I know it the 6 years between us will simply vanish into oblivion, and we will become equals in almost every sense of the word. It is both a bizzare and beautiful phenomenon to watch her grow, and one that I would not give up for the world.

So yes, maybe she gets favored, and maybe she gets coddled, and maybe she has it easier. But in the end, I get the better end of the deal. Besides, who would want to be an infant for all of eternity, anyway?

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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To The Older Sibling I Never Had, I Wish You Were Here To Guide Me

I know you don't exist, and I know you never will, but sometimes I catch myself imagining a life with you in it.

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Starting high school is a terrifying feeling and an insane transition when you don't have anyone to guide you through it. It was a mere 15-step walk to the door, and once I was inside my parents promised me there would be somebody there to help me find my classes, so why did I feel like I was being thrown straight into the gates of hell? I counted down the minutes until we pulled into the school parking lot and dreaded the sound of the car door opening and the anticipated start to the "best four years of my life."

As we were pulling up, I saw a girl who went to the same middle school as I followed her older brother, who was a senior through the front doors as if it had been rehearsed at home. At this moment, I would have given my right foot to walk in her shoes right behind an older brother just this once. Eventually, I just walked right inside.

Unfortunately, this would not be the last of my longing for guidance from the older sibling I've never had.

I get it, I got a B in math. I get it, if I would have spent last Friday night studying instead of out with my friends it is possible that I could have gotten an A. But, what my parents seemed to not get was that life actually does go on even if you get a B on a report card. Time doesn't stop, your dreams don't diminish, and you are still viewed as a fairly competent person.

Luckily for my younger sisters, it seems my parents eventually did get it at the cost of my phone being taken away for three months and my social life ceasing to exist for the rest of that school year. As I spent every Friday night at home studying I longed, for just this once, to have an older sibling who was willing to take this hit for me.

Why did nobody tell me that it's actually more fun to go to school dances with friends than the boy you barely know who is just desperate for some conversation with the opposite sex?

I always wondered why that girl I went to middle school with never took a date to any of our formals or homecomings. Eventually, four homecomings and two proms later, I realized that this was because stumbling through the awkward introductions to family, tolerating the completely posed and overdone photos that would never actually be posted anywhere because you didn't talk outside of this forced interaction, and small talk over fruit punch and loud music was never actually necessary. Of course, I passed this message to my younger sisters and saved them the struggle of finding out for themselves.

Don't even get me started on being the first sibling to have to navigate applying to colleges.

I really could have used you then. I'm convinced there is nothing more difficult than trying to fill out a FAFSA or Common Application with absolutely no guidance or experience. Is my application essay long enough? Should I apply for early or regular admission? What if I don't get accepted anywhere? As selfish as it sounds, I would have given my other foot not to have to find these things out for myself.

I'd trade a lifetime worth of shotgun privileges to have you in my life to help me figure this stuff out.

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