Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Being the Big Sister I Never Thought I Could Be
I talked to my little, ok now kinda grown up, brother Daniel on Facebook today. He's 18, just graduated from high school and starting to figure out this thing called LIFE.
He's made some very grown up decisions lately by telling my parents he's not going to be attending Humboldt State in the fall. Instead he'll be staying close to home and following my footsteps by going the community college route. I can only imagine the fear it 1) took for him to stand his ground with my parents and 2) charter the unknown territories of not having a plan all mapped out for him by my mother.
But he seems to be doing well and I'm happy for him. He's acting, having fun, hanging out with his friends and girlfriend, and sends me regular text messages. He also often comes to me for advice, especially about all of the above.
Daniel and I didn't always have such a great relationship. We used to fight like cats and dogs...or more appropriately like siblings. You see, my mom remarried when I was 8 to my stepfather, who is a wonderful man. Daniel didn't come along until I was 14 years old. Having been an only child for so long having a sibling after so many years of solitude was quite an adjustment. Actually that's an understatement.
Daniel got away with everything I got in trouble or got grounded for. He told on me and narked me out. I was the live in baby sitter. For so long I HATED him. Four years later, my brother Scotty came along. Now instead of one there was TWO!!
By this time I had graduated from high school and was attending college, partying with my friends and resented the hell out of having to take time out to babysit much less attend family functions. Even though I was living at home off and on, I spent as little time as possible with my family and even less time with Daniel and Scott. I was a sister only in name.
The change happened about the time I was living in Arizona, around 2003. I came home for flower festival and he rode with me up to my grandmothers house. We talked the whole drive up and all of a sudden Daniel realized I was an ally and not the enemy. We forged a truce. He realized I could be a conduit between mom and dad. That I could be a neutral third party that could help with negotiations. He later flew out to Tucson to visit me and do an internship at the TV station I was working at over the summer.
By becoming more active in Daniels life I became more active in Scotts life. Granted I'm still much closer to Daniel but I also take more time with Scott when I visit. We watch movies, play volleyball and talk. I call the house and spend a few minutes on the phone with Scott before asking to talk to mom and dad. I'm even his friend on Facebook ;)
This past Christmas when I went home was probably the best Christmas I'd had in years. I just hunkered down and soaked up my family. I took Daniel to get his official California ID card. He wasn't allowed to get his drivers license yet.
I played Rummi Cube with Scott - the evil mastermind
We took this picture which sits on my desk at work. It brings a smile to my face every time I look at it and realize how far I've come in my relationship with my brothers. It did take a few takes to get one that Scott wasn't doing bunny ears behind my head ;)
Although I live 2,000 miles always from my little, now growing up to be big brothers, I feel so blessed to have them in my life. I have changed and grown into the big sister I never wanted to be but am so glad I am.
If I could give them one last piece of advice it would be to live your life for you and no one else. Live it to the fullest. Laugh a lot and often. And above everything else...have fun. I love you always ~ your big sister Nat