I was born into a family with a lot of siblings. Growing up I was always the baby of the family. My older sisters labeled me annoying and a brat from early on.
Last week I met a woman in the airport. She started telling me how rough it was for her growing up as a middle child and how finally at 45 years old she’s just starting to get over being “the middle child”. I started to tell her about my older sisters and how it felt to be “the baby”.
What my big sisters do not know is that my entire life all I wanted was for them no notice me. All I wanted was their love and attention, all I wanted was to be exactly who they were. I have lived my entire life trying to make my family feel proud of me. No matter my accomplishments they still seem to go unnoticed. Even in their darkest days and worst moments I have always looked up to my siblings. I have always wanted them to notice me when all they seem to notice is one another.
I can only imagine how it feels to be a big sister. I see my girls interactions and acknowledge that my oldest needs time of her own. That she also needs to be her own person and that’s probably exactly how my big sisters feel. The selfish “baby” in me just wants to tell them that I just want to be near them, to feel included, accepted and loved. I understand that dynamic and I try and help guide my daughters to develop healthy relationships with one another so individually they can decipher who they are and where their place is.
The internet has a way of diving people. Forming opinions and judgement is often made. I still need to have love and acceptance from my siblings no matter what they see online. That in order for us to make it together we have to be honest with one another. Really honest is something my family has a hard time with. We like to beat around the bush, not hurt one another and just say nothing at all. That’s how we deal with our emotions. I blame it on the inherit need to just want to be happy, since we all spent our childhood in turmoil the last thing anyone wants to do is deal with the problem.
I will never know how it feels to be the big sister but my advice to big sisters is to take notice. Communicate honestly and openly and even if “the baby” is annoying and a total brat know that she just wants to be exactly like you. She just wants to feel loved even if she’s trailing behind.
I realize now more than ever that kindness and love and honesty goes a long way. Every day I get to live my life. I am happier than I have ever been and I look around me and no one is here to help celebrate my joy. I’ve created this gorgeous family with three beautiful loving girls and once again I’m the little brat who’s just been forgotten about tagging behind her big sisters. Begging for them to notice me and trying to get them to know who I am, who my children are. Just wanting them to notice as I’m screaming “HEY I”M STILL HERE TOO!”.
In our family the one thing we can do well is loss. Our family has been torn apart more times than I’d like to admit. I found out my half sister died in a car accident this week. For a moment in time I thought it could have been any of us. That moment was harder than anything I’ve ever felt. It was no longer about the loss of our dad or all the mistakes I’ve made, it was literally my life being torn apart again.
So to all the little sisters in the world this is for you – you are worthy and beautiful and you are exactly perfect as you are! No amount of loss or love will ever change that!