This past Sunday, April 10, 2016, was National Sibling Day. I was sitting with my dad when he decided to share a memory on Facebook. He was trying to think of a good one and settled on the time he tripped his younger brother in a department store and security had to bandage his bare behind. As I scrolled through everyone else’s memories I noticed that his was quite different from everyone else’s. While most people had heartwarming photos and cute little messages, my father had an embarrassing story. That is just like our family.
This made me think back on my favorite memories with my brothers and they were quite similar to my dad’s. The best times were when we were wrestling over juice boxes and remote controls or falling over laughing at someone’s mistake. As I went over these memories I realized something really important to me. Even though I am the only girl, stuck right in the middle of two boys, I rarely ever felt like it.
Whether we were shooting nerf darts, capturing flags or seeking out toads and slugs, I was right alongside them the whole time. I never heard, “but you’re a girl!” or, “go play with your dolls.” In fact my younger brother was usually right there with me making his action figures drive around town with my Barbies. I was never left out and I could hardly say they took it easy on me. I was just one of the boys.
If I fell (which I did often) or did something stupid (also a frequent occurrence) there was no babying or light joking. I was teased and mocked just as much as each of them, and boy could I dole it back. I never felt like I was more fragile or worth less than my brothers just because I was the sister. Because of my awesome brothers, I can hold my own and keep up with most guys.
Of course, sometimes it’s nice to have brothers to take care of me. Like when the neighbor introduced me to a nasty word and my older brother had to step in and teach him some of his own. Then there was the time that I rolled my ankle playing movie tag and they both walked me inside. First dates (also last ones) are much more comfortable with brothers at home, waiting for the report.
I am definitely grateful that they were there when I needed them, but I’m even more grateful that they could turn it off. Snowball fights and Lego building contests are way more fun when you’re treated like an equal. If it weren’t for them, I may not have ever known who the Mario Bros are or how to shoot a Nerf gun. I used to always wish I had a sister, but now that I’ve had years of being “one of the guys” I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Of course I will love having a sister-in-law sometime in the future. This snowball fight and capture the flag loving girl can still get behind some shoe shopping and nail painting and brothers won’t do that.