To my one and only brother--you are more important to me than you think
You were born on July 24th, 2002, but I can tell you that we were best friends way before then. I remember my five-year-old self talking to you even before you were born (and wondered why you wouldn’t talk back to me). I would tell you about the special family that you were going to be born into, and that I couldn’t wait to play princesses with you (much to Daddy’s dismay).
Then the day came that you were born. Daddy dropped me off at Nonna’s house before meeting Mommy at the hospital, & I remember being upset that I couldn’t be there to welcome you into the world. But before I knew it, I was there; up close and personal watching your every move. Mommy asked me to lay down on the bed, so we could take a picture. In the very first picture we took together, you were smiling from one little ear to the next. I remember thinking, “He’s smiling because he knows he has a great big sister.” Then you came home, and I was the happiest big sister ever. You were my real-life baby doll, and there are pictures of you on my scooter with Cinderella and Snow White by your side. Since then, time has flown by.
Then you were five years old, and the cutest but most annoying thing on the planet. I was ten years old at the time, and you bugged the crap out of me like you got paid to do it. At this time, we both started a new school. We would get on the bus together and you would lay your head on my lap and fall asleep until we arrived at school. Remember the older girl who constantly picked on you on the bus? I turned to her and said “If you don’t leave him alone, you’ll have me to deal with. “and gave her the dirtiest look I have ever made in my life. (If I’m being honest I think I even scared myself). I have no idea what my ten-year-old mind thought I would do, but “protective sister mode came over me and it worked like a charm. You were in kindergarten, and I was in fifth grade. I’d say hi to you at lunch, and in the hallways. During the day, I’d lie to my teacher and say I was going to the bathroom, but I was really going to see if you were okay. I didn’t care if I got caught; what I was doing was important. On the bus ride home, you would tell me so much about school that day that I thought it was impossible to shut you up. So, I started buying a Hershey Bar at lunch and we would split it on the ride home (which gave me some peace and quiet). We were as thick as thieves, and I knew I wouldn’t let anyone or anything take that away from me.
Then you were ten years old, and I was fifteen. A fifteen-year-old girl in high school, obsessed with music and her friends. I would come home to do my homework and you would just stare at me, “Want to play on the Wii?’, “Want to play basketball outside?”, “Let’s go ride bikes!”. Sometimes, I said yes, but most times I said no. I’m sorry about that. I was that stereotypical brat who thought my friends were more important than family. Unfortunately, I figured out later in life that I was wrong. It’s not that I didn’t want to spend time with you, it’s that my priorities were in the wrong order. Nevertheless, you still made me laugh until I couldn’t breathe. You would sing, dance, and carry on like no one was watching, but I always was.
During my first two years in high school I would stay home on Friday and Saturday nights and it would just be me and you. I would hate being put on “babysitting” duty, but you always made it well worth it. Mommy and Daddy would be out, and we would be home alone. Between eating our weight in junk food, watching movies, or watching you play Mario Super Slugger’sBaseball on the Wii, I was content. Remember putting the pillows on the living room rug and jumping on them pretending the floor was lava? I do. You always had a vivid imagination, and I know that will be very useful in the future. Remember playing Spit, Old Maid, and Uno on my bed late at night with a pack of Double Stuffed Oreo’s? I do. Sometimes I let you win, but most times I asked myself how I just lost to a ten-year old.
Now you are fifteen, and I just turned twenty-one. You’ll be sixteen in July, and I swear you still act like that annoying five-year-old kid who just wants to hang out with his older sister. I’m twenty-one years old, in nursing school, with a job, friends, and no desire to stay home. I’m sorry about that. I’m that stereotypical college student who wants to be “on-the-go” all the time. It’s not that I don’t want to hang out with you, it’s just that I was never good at sorting out my priorities.You still make me laugh more than anyone I know; whether it’s (trying) to rap to a Kendrick Lamar song, or yelling at your special needs lizard for not eating a cricket that is right in front of him. As much as I complain about it, I love being your personal chauffeur, and wouldn’t trade our lunch dates at Santini’s Pizzeria for the world.
Mommy always told you that no one would love you more and be more overprotective of you than me. Sorry to say, but she’s right. I am not one for confrontation, but I surely will knock someone on their a** if they mess with you. (It’s not the Sicilian in me, it’s the “protective older sister mode” that comes out.) No matter how old you get, you’ll still be the five-year old kid laying his head down on my lap to go to sleep on the bus, that kid that had to have every single Thomas the Train engine in Toys R Us, and that kid who always knew how to make me smile when I wanted to cry. So, thanks for coming into this world. I’d be awfully bored with my life if I didn’t have you. Thanks for having my back, covering for me (many, many times), cooking for me when my cooking skills fail me, cleaning my fish tank, and for keeping the constant smile on my face for the last sixteen years.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of you, and I don’t want to imagine how I would be if I didn’t have you. You are by far the coolest little brother to ever exist. You will do so many big things in the future, and I can’t wait to see where the world takes you. Always know that I will always be here for you to support you, listen to you, protect you, or take you to lunch. But most importantly, never forget that I love you.
Your older Sissy, Na-Na (you couldn’t say my name until you were three, so Na-Na- had to suffice) your protector & personal chauffeur.