a Big Sister is supposed to play a certain role in the sibling dynamic. older brothers, too. but i’m a sister, so that’s what we’re talking about today.
role model. mentor. it’s practically become the definition of the title. i’m the one who guides and protects my little brother and sister when mom and dad can’t. that’s what the eldest sibling does.
what i didn’t realize is that the job isn’t necessarily permanent. a Big Sister may be able to offer guidance based on her head start for awhile, but if she’s lucky, one day her younger siblings catch up.
they started to close in on my lead in our teens. in high school and college my brother and sister became two of my best friends as we shared more extracurricular activities, interests, inside jokes, and milestone moments.
as we grew into adults, we tracked neck-and-neck as our relationship matured. i looked up to them as much as i hoped they had looked up to me growing up. i remember distinctly the first time i felt like bryan played the role of big brother to me, and have a vivid memory of the first time kelleigh gave me big sisterly advice.
while i absolutely love being able to go to my little bro and sis for support and wisdom, having my position in the lead overtaken was unsettling at first. i’m supposed to be the one out in front cutting through the wind resistance. now i’m drafting in their slipstream from time to time.
yesterday i was baby-things shopping with my expectant sister, and it was glaringly obvious that i’m quite unqualified to give any experiential counsel. as much as i’ve joked that i’m glad she’s going first on this one (which is another cerebral saga altogether), i felt like i was failing on my Big Sister duties.
this new dynamic with my brother and sister may be unfamiliar and sometimes uncomfortable for me, but i’m growing to appreciate it more all the time.
i’m so proud of you, bry and kel! and so grateful for you. i am a very lucky Big Sister.