I’m Your Built-in Best Friend

Being your big sister will always be my favorite job.

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I spent four years of my life waiting for you.

20 years ago mom found out she was pregnant with you and I was ecstatic. I told literally every person I saw that I was going to be a big sister and how excited I was to meet you. I loved you from the moment I knew you were alive, even if I wasn’t quite sure what it meant when mom said she had a baby in her belly. I remember sitting on the sofa when you were big enough that we could feel you kick; I always put my hand on her tummy and talked to you. I’ve always wanted to be the best big sister I could be, but you didn’t come with an instruction manual and I’ve been learning along the way.

I did go to that big sister class, but it didn’t prepare me for everything! Only for how to properly hold a baby, much to our mother’s dismay. I know you’ve heard the story about how I picked you up and moved you at a week old while mom was in the bathroom; she about lost her mind, but hey, I was qualified! I have the certificate to prove it.

I’ve messed up more often than not.

Whether it was that one time I fell backwards onto your head when you were a month old, or locked you in the house when mom took out the trash and I followed her outside, or when I locked you in the running car in the middle of winter while simultaneously locking mom and I outside when she went into her office to grab some papers. It might not seem like it, but I’ve always wanted to keep you safe (even when I wasn’t very good at it).

I was never scared when it came to protecting you.

You gave me a reason to be brave. Remember when dad had to stop me from charging at that kid down the road who spit at you? My tiny little fists were clenched as I stormed down the street after him when you came up to me crying because he was being mean to you.

“No one gets to pick on my brother, but me!” I bellowed at him; “PICK ON SOMEONE YOUR OWN SIZE!” It didn’t matter that he was way bigger than I was, because I was bigger than you and if anyone was going to get in a fight with that jerk, it was me.

That protectiveness will never change. 

When you inevitably introduce me to a girl who gives you butterflies, I’m going to do my best to love her as if she were my sister. She better be good to you because you’ve got the kindest heart I know; I pray she realizes that. I’ll be honest; odds are I’m going to be face-creeping the crap out of her. I will have scoured her entire Facebook profile by the time you’ve made it home from my place. It’s my job to thoroughly investigate that gal because you’re my little brother and I care more about you than I care about myself. Even when if it doesn’t always seem like it.

I’ve been spending my life trying to be strong for you. 

When mom and dad got divorced, we lost each other. I was busy going through puberty, dealing with liking boys, and adjusting to a life without both of our parents; I left you behind and I’m so sorry. I should have been there for you; I should have made sure you were okay too. I still remember when you came to me and asked me why we couldn’t live with mom and dad, together. You wanted your family to go back to how it was, so did I.

You were young and you didn’t understand what was happening. Life got way too hard so damn quickly. I felt completely thrown off by the divorce, so I can only imagine how you felt at 8 years-old when life as you knew it no longer existed. I left you behind; when my life started changing, you were too young to come on the journey with me, but I shouldn’t have let you fall to the side. I should have been there for you, but I can’t change what happened; just know that I’m here now and even if I seem far away, I’ll always be the one you can go to with your problems.

I’ll always love you in a way only a big sister can.

You’re my little guy, even if you are a whole head taller than I am. You’re growing up and it’s freaking me out.  You can call me “munchkin” it’s fine, I’m still oldest and therefore, I know best. At least, I pretend to.

I knew you were always watching, so I tried my best to be someone you could look up to; I know I failed more often than not, but I hope you’re proud to call me your big sister.

-LP

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