Growing up I

always wanted an

older sibling,

instead of being the older sibling.

Most days I wanted an

older sister.

I wanted an older

sister who's closet

I could raid when she left

it unattended.

One who would

drive me around as

the radio blared

and we sang along

out of tune but not caring.

I wanted an older sister

who shared secrets and

stayed up with me.

She would show me the

best way to make

coffee and hot chocolate.

Growing up, I found

that I didn't need an

older sibling when my

cousins already played that

role for me.

Clothes that they

no longer wanted were fair game.

Hot chocolates with a

hint of cinnamon at Christmas

became coffees with enough creamer

to turn the dark liquid

a cloudy white.

The mugs always

turning my fingers pink,

curled up on the couches

in the basement with

Christmas songs playing

but our laughter drowning out

the lyrics.

Running around in

the yard, grass stains and

dirt on white t-shirts.

Our moms shaking their heads

at us in the kitchen,

but hiding their laughter until

we turned the corner.

At the mention of

my first breakup.

We went from laughing

on the couch to

me holding the guys back

and my sister running

off with my phone.

I became my own older sister.

Huddled around the

kitchen counter,

teaching my siblings how

to make hot chocolate.

Playing soccer and baseball

in the yard.

Driving around with the

windows down and the

music up,

signing out of tune,

smiling, and

not caring.