I am the oldest of 4 - Michael (28), Gabrielle (24) and Christiana (19). Growing up together involved a lot of patience; understanding; compassion and a wicked sense of humor. Every sibling is SO different (despite our very strong genes that don't leave much question as to our relation). We all grew up in a loving household where imagination, fun and education were at the helm of our values and principles.
Being a big sister prepared me for my work as a nanny, even before my heart knew that's a dream I would soon realize. Let's be honest, I enjoyed being "the boss" - something Gabrielle did not quite warm to, or ever really allow! But, despite the push back, I still found a way to lead my siblings - through games; school ambition; building relationships with our cousins; and by making sure we all thanked our parents - on a regular basis - for the life in which we've been immeasurably blessed.
My relationship with each sibling was custom-made, as each relationship should be ... Whether it's in a family or in a friendship. Everyone deserves the chance to know you in a unique way, and you - in turn -should try to be as transparent as possible with those whom you love and respect. As a child, I had no idea I was learning these lessons, but with the job title of "big sister", I found it comes with the territory.
I loved sharing a room with Gabrielle - a room that was completely exploding with girlish charm in each and every corner. Pink ribbons, lace and flowers were the theme; and it was taken very seriously. Once I moved across the hall, Michael slept outside my door. Then, when Christiana was born, she took my spot in the "pretty in pink" room... And my favorite times were spent sitting with my sisters on their heavenly, fluffy, "cotton-candy" soft feather beds, which about swallowed their tiny bodies.
I watched these little loves in my life grow up, and I often miss the days where our whole world was just wrapped up in one another. Michael and I had an unspoken love and affection for one another. Gabi and I shared friends and a magical world of imagination; and Christiana was my baby doll - a decade younger than I, and my chance to take care of my favorite kind of little human: a baby.
I will tell you the secret to being a big sister: never, ever admit you are WRONG! The oldest is always right, right?? I can see the eye rolling as my sisters read this.
But, here's the truth: in every card I write my parents, I thank them for giving me my siblings. It's the best thing they could have ever done for me. My little loves taught me about caring for another person. Although there was fighting and a little bit of "stink eye" being thrown around, I can tell you one thing: we would walk through fire for each other any day of the week.
So, just as I end every card, I will end this blog the same way ...
Mom and Dad: thank you for making me a big sister. Your love taught me how to love my siblings ... And, from there, I fell in love with all the children for which I cared.
I love you, M&G&C! Thank you for giving me the honor of being your big sister. Here's to the future,our continued immaturity, love, and memories :)