An 8 year gap… We all know how it goes; you’re riding high as the only child and then BAM! you’re parents get knocked up. I went from being the only child for 8 years to having 4 siblings over the course of 7 years. It was a lot to take in and a lot to adjust to. When I was younger, my perspective on siblings would have been a bit different. But now that I am much older and the oldest sibling of our little tribe, I am very thankful for my sisters and my brother, and the experiences we have gone through together.
The first sibling to come along was my sister Marquia. She was my first headache, and coincidentally the one I’m writing this post about. When she was born, I was a few weeks shy of turning 8. I don’t remember much in the way of my mother being pregnant or her giving birth to my sister. I couldn’t tell you where I was when it happened or the excitement of her coming home, but what I can tell you is how having a sibling was a pain in my butt! I was no longer the center of attention, at least when it came to my parents. I was used to sharing the spotlight with other children because at this point I had 4 cousins who were close in age to me. But to have a little rugrat under the same roof as me, taking all of my parent’s attention, was not something I was too happy about.
Even after she got a little older, she worked my nerve to no end. It was your typical “big sister, little sister” annoyance. As an 11/12 year old, I thought I was too old to play with a little 3/4 year old. But she got a kick out of being up under me and being around my friends. However, the icing on the cake for patience in dealing with her came when she decided she wanted to play doctor with me (already sounds bad, right?). Anywho, we were playing doctor and I was the patient. I was laying on the bed watching TV and she was checking my vitals with a toy sword from one of her Mulan action figures. Everything was fine until she decided to stick the sword in my ear…..and push! I swear she punctured my ear drum! The pain was so bad and dried blood came out of my ear for weeks! I knew then and there that it was going to be a long road ahead of us. I was convinced she had done it on purpose, and to this day, I still complain about it to her and I can still vaguely feel the pain.
But, as we got older and her annoying ways started to diminish, we became closer. She was a teenager, I was in my early twenties and my patience had grown longer. I think the turning point for me was knowing that I could go to her with anything and she would keep it a secret. There has been so much information that I’ve shared with her that she has promised to take to the grave. When I realized I could trust her on that level, I felt that having a little sister wasn’t so bad after all. The more we both matured, the more we seemed to have in common. She was no longer the annoying little sister, she was a young adult who I could hang out with and who could hang with me and my friends with no judgement. It also didn’t hurt that I could use her as my chauffeur on nights where I had been drinking! For her, I think gaining younger siblings under her made her understand and sympathize with my frustrations. And at that point, seeing as though we were the two eldest siblings, we were on evenkeel.
Once I had my son and learned a whole new level of responsibility, I put that on my siblings like they were my children. I went from being annoyed by them to being very protective and somewhat motherly. My sister, to this day, always complains that when she tells me something, I need to listen to her like a sister and not judge her like a mom. Well, duh! I am a mom! But I get where she is coming from. I have to make sure that I am giving her the same courtesy she gave to me when I went to her with all of my issues and problems.
Twenty-four years later, now that we are both much older (she is in her mid-twenties and I am in my thirties) we still get annoyed by each other, but for reasons on a much grander scale. We still have sibling rivalries and vie for our parents attention. There are times where I annoy her and piss her off because I am a bitch and there are times when she annoys me and pisses me off because she THINKS she knows it all. At the end of the day, this is something that all siblings experience. But, it only means that we deeply love one another. No matter how pissed she is at me, or how frustrated I am with her, she is my sister. She was my first experience with a sibling. It may have started off rocky, but she is my best friend. Not to mention, she is an awesome Auntie to my son. I don’t think he could ask for a better Aunt who loves him and cares for him unconditionally. So, although I know we still have plenty of years left for arguing and disagreeing and the table turning to where she thinks she is MY MOM (that’s where the know-it-all part comes in), she will always be my little sister and I will always have her back.
Ironically, she is currently upset with me and has been for a few weeks. But guess what? It doesn’t really matter because it isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. So, Marquia, you can be annoyed with me all you want, but you should be used to how I am by now. Know that even when you are ready to kill me, I am always going to love you. Just stop being so damn sensitive and we gon’ be alright!!
To anyone out there with younger siblings, you know my pain. And if you haven’t gotten to the point where it gets better and you’re past the annoyance, don’t worry, it’s coming and it’s the best part of having a younger sibling. This has been the best bond and experience, outside of motherhood, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world! I love you SPARKY!!!