5 Things Only People With Big Families Understand

5 Things Only People With Big Families Understand

It just keeps getting louder and louder.


I have a very big extended side of the family on my mother's side of the family. My grand-pop was one of twelve and my grandma was one of eight. From those siblings, come a long line of relatives. Here are some things I am sure people with big families can relate to.

1. Every reunion gets progressively louder and louder


It starts to simple hellos to one another and hugs with "how are you?" But as the day goes on, everyone gets progressively louder and louder in conversations. There's always someone laughing, a dad giving really bad "dad jokes," and aunts gossiping about family drama over wine. You can help but smile in noticing the enjoyment people find within one another, especially when it's family.

2. Names get easily mixed up


I come from a VERY Italian family, so you can imagine how many Nikki's, Tina's, Tony's, Joe's, Frank's, Mike's, and etc there are in my family. So when family members are telling a story, sometimes it can be hard to follow if there are names that six other relatives have.

Names tend to mesh into one another unless you are like me by the name, Kathleen. Which isn't as popular but I like it.

3. No one leaves with an empty stomach


There are various reasons this will NEVER happen going to a big, Italian family reunion.

(1) Someone will take a personal offense if you aren't touching their homemade lasagna, so you best believe you will get a side of it whether you like it or not.

(2) It ranks practically as a mortal sin if you eat too little or not enough.

You'll most likely get thrown questions such as, "Did you have enough to eat?" "Are you still hungry?!" "Honey, grab seconds and thirds there is PLENTY where that came from." "Did you enjoy what you got? Can I grab you some more?" "You're full? Bullshit, grab more." "You'll like it!!!! Shut up and eat it." "You're pescatarian? But what about meatballs? Oh, honey, it's okay eat a little I won't tell."

Well, the last one is more directed towards me, but you get it.

4. You never truly know the whole family tree of your side


My grandparents come from huge families, so you can imagine the number of babies that came from that. To this day, I have had to have my mom give me a breakdown of "who is whose kid," "what kids they had," and "who is whose grand-kid." Still haven't pieced it together quite yet.

5. There's always a relative that is little too sarcastic


You know who I am talking about. There's always that one aunt or uncle that is ultra-sarcastic, but in the best ways possible. I was (and still am) one of the shyer kids in the family so I can be an easy target to pick on to get me talking. Like when I'm not even talking, I'll get told to shut up or stop being loud, this always gives me a smile and I can't stop laughing. It's even better when they are giving other relatives hell, it adds a little something to conversations.

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If You Give A Girl A Brother

If you give a girl a brother, she'll always have a hand to hold.

If you give a girl a brother, she'll always have a friend

and, she'll probably rely on him over and over again.

Once she realizes that he's always there she'll hand him her trust,

and for a solid sibling-ship, this confidence is a must.

If you give a girl a brother, she'll always have someone to blame

when her blood is boiling and she's too mad to remember her own name.

She'll always have someone to run to when she's in need of a good laugh

and when she's at a loss for words, someone to speak on her behalf.

If you give a girl a brother, you can expect a lifetime of fights,

but to compensate, they'll stay up watching movies and bonding many late nights.

At times he'll be her worst enemy yet always her biggest alliance.

He'll make her happier than anyone on this planet, and there is no denying it.

If you give a girl a brother, she'll always have her half of a pair,

whether it's for when she wants to dance, drink coffee or play Modern Warfare.

She's always got someone to compete with, and someone to form a team.

A backbone, a driving force behind all of her amazing dreams.

If you give a girl a brother, you better watch your back,

because if her heart is ever broken, he'll be ready to attack.

She's always got protection, no matter the date or time.

He's like her Secret Service, her partner in crime.

If you give a girl a brother, she'll always have a reason to smile.

Someone to make every vacation, every road trip worthwhile.

She'll always have the biggest critique, to point out every flaw,

but someone to respect them and see her with star-struck awe.

If you give a girl a brother, she'll always have a hand to hold,

a shoulder to cry on, her very own stronghold,

and someone to support her in every endeavor.

If you give a girl a brother, she'll be the luckiest girl ever.

God blessed this girl with three amazing brothers who are everything mentioned above and more. I love all three of them more than anyone could ever imagine and I am so thankful for all the days they've been my personal assistants, my therapists, or my goofballs to laugh with.

I really cannot fathom anything greater than having a brother — or three.

Cover Image Credit: https://static-secure.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/cartoons/2012/6/18/1340009508811/brother-and-sister-fighti-008.jpg

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My College Move Caused My Little Sister To Develop Separation Anxiety

Students moving to college has a ripple effect on families that is too often overlooked


Moving to college is a daunting experience for almost every first-year student. It can be lonely, awkward, and you might miss your family... a lot. It makes you realize that after living with your parents and siblings for eighteen years, the act of uprooting what you have always known and leaving it all behind, is a really strange thing to do. You are no longer surrounded by the core people that have made you who you are today. And while I was dealing with these circumstances, I failed to notice how it takes effect on my sibling's emotions.

While it was obvious that my parents were dealing with the great heartache of their first child leaving the nest, I never considered the distress that it would cause in the lives of my siblings. A whole person is taken out of the original family dynamic, changing the ambiance of their household life entirely. I feel that this is often disregarded, as every event from graduation, to move in day, is about the child who is leaving. But it wasn't until my family began to relay the distressing tendencies of my eleven-year-old sister, did I recognize that she was showing signs of depression. And the guilt hit me instantly.

My mom and dad would each call me on multiple occasions to tell me how often she seemed to not be present or was not eating enough. Whether at the dinner table, in the car, or out shopping on the weekends, they could not seem to lift her spirits. They would also complain that from the time she arrived home from school until bedtime, she remained in her room, on her phone or computer. Although for a preteen this is not unusual, it was shocking to us as she used to spend the majority of after-school time with friends, and later hanging out with the family until it was time for bed.

Finally, I came to the conclusion that her self isolation must stem from the fact that my parents went through a divorce a few years ago, leading to me becoming a motherly figure to her during the nights spent at my dad's house. And she was probably just starting to adjust to that agenda until I left for school in August. But she was not the only one left feeling like she was missing something.

Although my brother doesn't outright show that he was as affected by my departure, he has mentioned to me many times how neither house feels as home-like with me gone. Because of this, he disregards any attempt to better his home relationships and often uses his newly acquired car to drive to his friend's houses where he spends most nights. Although this is his coping mechanism, it leaves my sister home with only one parent or the other, feeling like a newly appointed only child.

The issue with this is that my parents don't know how to give proper attention to a metaphorical only child, nor do they have the time. My siblings and I always had each other to keep company so it was never an issue. Therefore, my sister is left lonely, and slowing receding into mildly depressive tendencies. And no matter how often I encourage her to call me and discuss her feelings, I get the idea that she doesn't believe that anyone will understand, or that she feels as though discussing her feelings becomes a burden to others.

Luckily my family recognized what she was going through after a while, and has begun to take action to help her out of this funk. However, the possible mental illness that I saw her beginning to develop at such an early age is extremely worrisome to me. Not only do we live in a world where mental illnesses are more prominent than ever due to social media, but sometimes the families of those affected are the ones blindly causing it. We need to encourage our parents and siblings to bring about their compassion for each other more often. Because in a fast-paced world like the one we live in, where everything is constantly going, we often forget to look at those around us and make sure that they are feeling valued and heard.

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