My 10 Big Sister Woes, and Trust Me, They Are Legit
If You and Your Sibling Have a Large Age Gap, You’ll Understand Where I’m Coming From
Ellen R. Collier
My little bro is not so little anymore. For every season, there’s a reason…although in my opinion, there is never a good reason for your little bro (who happens to be 10 years my junior) to be taller than you. Like hello?! Short big sisters have feelings too!
Seriously though, where did all the years go? One minute he was 9 and I was heading out the door to catch a plane for Army Basic Training, and the next he’s a 6 foot tall16 year old, with a mustache and beard scruff! What happened to my life?!
Okay, so now that I got that melodramatic moment out of the way, I should probably regroup. It’s not so bad that he’s older now. He’s just going through that same awkward phase I went through at that age; trying to find acceptance from others and find his place in the world. He’s forming some opinions on various things, but he’s mostly all fun and jokes. He’s actually got some pretty good sarcastic wit too! Huh, I can’t think of where he might have gotten that from at all…
While I’m glad he’s growing up, because that means new exciting opportunities and adventures for him, along with us being able to look forward to having peer to peer conversations, it’s also a bit of a bummer. I left home and lived in other states and countries for almost 6 years. I feel like I missed out on a lot, and I know I can’t make up that time, and right now I don’t need to. Because here’s a harsh new truth about my brother: he likes to game on the computer, watch YouTube videos, listen to music, spend time in his room, and be away from people. He’s basically like I was at that age, except he’s a gamer. So, as I wait patiently for him to grow a little more, and gain some life experience I’m reflecting on his childhood, and some of the things I miss about it.
- I miss him being shorter than me. Okay, you knew that already, but I just have to reiterate this. I used to change this kid’s diapers when he was little. I used to pick him up and hold him on my hip while I shopped for heavy metal music at the CD shop. Now he looms over me and practically crushes me beneath his weight when he gives me a hug. Excuse me for a moment, as I limp away while getting misty-eyed at the thought that my once “little bro” has now become the BFG.
- His voice has changed. His voice didn’t really go through a phase where it cracked or anything, but it did seem to get deeper without much warning. One minute, it was little and cute, and I could make my Aunt laugh while doing a great impression of it, and now he sounds like my Dad. When I call the house phone, I never know who I’m talking to anymore, it’s ridiculous!
- I feel bad that he got the “Italian gene” early when it came to facial hair. He’s already tall for his age, couldn’t the Almighty just give him (and me) a small break and not make him look too much older than he actually is? I go over to the house for a visit, and my adorable little bro looks like he’s trying really hard to beat Rick Grimes in a game of “Who Has the Manliest Beard?”!
- He’s discovering new music, and some of it is awesome! Some of it though, I just can’t get into. There’s nothing like listening to songs featured in video games when you have no knowledge of the game, or even a sliver of interest in it. Try it sometime if you’re feeling adventurous!
- He hasn’t had a date yet, and I’ve started to wonder what that will be like for him. More than likely he’ll meet a girl in college, but first trysts/relationships rarely work out for the long haul. I hope his first break-up doesn’t end badly! If he’s the one to end the relationship, he better not be a douche, or I’ll kick his ass! Then again, if a girl breaks his sensitive, caring heart, it’s game over: “Boss Level Big Sister Ellen” will be unleashed!
- I’ve realized that I can’t read to him anymore like when he was little. That’s a hard one for me to accept, although I know it wouldn’t be the same for either of us now. I’m old enough to understand that some memories are best left preserved in the past, rather than tampered with in the present. Even though I know the same magic won’t be there now, I still have days when I think, “Take me back to the days of my fun voices, and fantastical adventures of Harry Potter”.
- Gone are the days where raking leaves turned into a day of me playing Jack Sparrow with Tony as my first mate, and the rakes magically became oars for our boat, as we sailed the seven seas (of leaves). I know I can’t dress him up in my purple wig, complete with lip gloss and eye shadow anymore, with him laughing his butt off because he found it even funnier than I did. No longer can we play in an indoor tent, and have it feel larger than life (even though it’s just blankets, and chairs), as we fill it with stuffed animals, books, and snacks, and host yet another secret club meeting.
- I can’t expect him to miss me all the time like he used to. The simple fact is, our dynamic as siblings has changed. It’s probably a head-trip for him to have me back in town, after I lived everywhere else for 5 and a half years. I’m assuming there are things he wishes I were interested in, or understood about his generation, because I wish he understood some of the same things about me. That will hopefully change in time though.
- I worry about the thought of him going to college. First of all, where would he go? I don’t even know if he has anything in mind currently. I don’t honestly know what he wants to do career wise. I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do with my life, even when I was several years younger than he is now. So, I’m unsure of what he’ll be like once he enrolls in college. Will he live on campus? I doubt he’ll be able to because of the cost. Will he make friends easily? Will he be involved in clubs and other activities? Will he find his first girlfriend? Will he end up being a partyer? (I hope not.) Will he have kids before me? (He better not!)
- Mostly, I worry that we’ll drift, rather than growing closer. Somehow though, I don’t think that will happen. He knows that I love him to pieces, even if we do get on each other’s nerves sometimes; even if his energy is too much for me to handle some days. I think what I’m really worried about, is that he won’t see me as someone he can go to for advice. I’m worried he’ll think he has to make jokes in order to cheer me up, rather than just having a regular conversation. I worry that he’ll just see me as the big sister he grew up with, and not someone who’s had a good deal of life experience so far, with some wisdom to pass on to him. I worry that he’ll see me simply as the title holder of “big sis”, instead of someone who he can just be real with. I worry that he’ll think I’m farther away than I actually am, because no matter where I go, I’ll always be there for him.
When he’s ready, when he has freedom, and autonomy to do whatever he wants, I hope he’ll come over to my place sometimes for dinner and a movie. He’ll always be welcome to crash out on the couch if he needs to get away for a night. More than that, he’ll always be welcome as my brother in both my home, and in my heart. My big sister woes will fade in time, but my love for him will not.