When you’re a big sister and I mean, like a real big sister, not just a regular sister who just happens to be older, it’s hard. Let me clarify what I mean by big sister in relation to siblings:
- You’ve changed their diapers
- You’ve walked them to school
- You’ve definitely eaten something they’ve already had in their mouths.
- You’ve seen them naked for sure!
- You’ve lied to your parents to protect them.
- You’ve fought for them.
- You’ve helped them through a break-up.
- You’ve given advice, usually, but not always unsolicited.
- You’ve given them something you’ve used.
The hardest part about being a big sister – and I am an authority on the matter, having 5 younger brothers – is keeping the almost uncontrollable urge to protect under control.
Since our mum passed, the weight of being the eldest has increased tremendously, but lightened at the same time. Now that we are no longer guided by our parent, I feel that much more responsible. Concurrently, though, I feel like without a parent, it’s sink or float time! To balance the two extremes is where I struggle.
Today, I got into it with one of my baby brothers and it’s been a while since I was this mad at one of my brothers. In essence, I hung up on him on Skype. I don’t know why. I guess there’s a frustration inherent in any of my relationships with them. It’s me trying to mother them and also the realization that I HAVE to mother them now all wrapped around the fact that I am not actually their mother. It’s very confusing. What’s the point of experience if I can’t use it to help them avoid heartache, pain or regret?
I guess, in the end, the most important thing about being a big sister is that they know that I love them and I care enough about them to tell them the truth and make sure they know that I’m there for them no matter what, regardless of whether I disagree with their choices or not. That’s what love is anyway, right? In the end, all I can do is love them. I can’t protect them all the time. They have to make their own mistakes and make their own decisions. Sigh. Sure, they can be avoided, but it’s not my diversion to make.
Being a big sister is hard, but it’s one of the most important things I am. I hope that each of them know that.