The relationships between siblings tend to be complicated. If you have siblings, in the first 18 years of life, it is nearly impossible to escape them.
I’m the oldest of five. I have three sisters and one brother. My sisters are Sarah, Hannah, and Leah and my brother is Mark.
We’re all a little less than two years apart from one to the next. When I was seven years old, Sarah was six; Hannah was four, Mark was two, and Leah was just a newborn baby.
As the oldest, I always wanted to make sure that they were safe and happy. I would fight their bullies, comfort them when they scrapped their knees, and when I was feeling generous, I would get them out of trouble with our parents.
Of course, I’m not perfect, and my sisters and brother have plenty of stories about how I manipulated them and just generally messed with them because I was older.
My sisters claim that when we were younger and played make-believe games, that I told them I always had to be the fairy princess because I was the oldest and deserved to be.
When I knew figured out the Tooth Fairy was my mom, I told Sarah and Hannah too. I was shocked and needed to confide in them. Mark and Leah were too much younger and they figured it out later.
My siblings are always going to be people I go to for advice. They can help me understand myself and change my perspective.
As siblings do, we’ve had some downs that come with the ups.
Sarah, Hannah, and I fought a lot. Fights between the three of us were ugly because all of them were two-versus-one. Someone was left on the outside. We still fight like this sometimes but it’s gotten better.
In 2010 we moved. That changed a lot of things for all of us at the same time.
The most difficult relationship I had was with my brother. I was fourteen and just starting high school and he was nine. Our family had just moved so we were both adjusting.
I needed to be in charge and wanted some semblance of control in a life that had just been flipped. He probably needed the same. He was trying to find some individuality as a young boy and didn’t want his older sister telling him what to do.
Those fights would always end in cruel words and they were rarely resolved back then.
Now that we’re both older and more mature, we’re much closer. I think he’s realized that I’m his cool older sister and he’s just my silly little brother who I love.
When we moved schools, we leaned on each other. Our mom and dad didn’t have to go to a new school and make new friends. They didn’t experience it the same way we did. So some days I just needed to talk with my sister about the new school we were going to because I knew she would understand exactly what I was going through.
We don’t always experience our successes and failures together. But we can help each other through the bad times.
We’re getting older now and there’s still a lot of love there. There are still plenty of things that we keep secret from our parents because they’re our things. I can’t imagine a time when I’d never not need my siblings.
Ultimately, we will always look back and love each other. We grew up together, played soccer together, went through the same crazy things together.
We will probably always fight but we will always be family.