Sometimes, it felt like I was the only child while I was growing up because my first sibling didn’t come along until I was eight years old. Being an only child has its benefits, but it also has its faults. Sometimes it was awesome because I had all the attention, but sometimes is was exhausting because I had too much attention. I had cousins to play with, but it wasn’t the same. I didn’t have a sibling to bond with like my other cousins did and that made me feel left out and lonely sometimes. My parents probably didn’t know that I felt that way, but that is okay! They were so young when they had me, that having another child right away would have been a poor choice. One of the things that I admire most about my parents is that they were smart enough to hold off on having more kids until they were in their twenties. A lot of people don’t have those kind of smarts, especially teen parents. They waited eight years to have more kids, and by the time the second kid came along, they were 25 and slightly more mature. Plus, they had me to help out if need be and to be honest, my help wasn’t needed as much as you would think. I looked after my siblings and lent a hand when needed, but I don’t actually remember having to babysit a lot or miss out on things because I had to watch a sibling. My parents had a lot of help with all of their children and I think that if they didn’t have the necessary resources to have four kids, I might not have any siblings.
Before my sister, Tayler, came along, I had gotten used to being the only child and doing things on my own. When she came home my whole world shifted. I suddenly had this baby to help look after. What the heck was I supposed to do with a baby? I couldn’t play with it, I couldn’t have meaningful conversations with it, and I couldn’t even tell it what to do. While my friends complained about their little brother or sister, I was excited I was finally not going to be the only child anymore. I was going to have a sibling I could hang out with and talk to. Well, I couldn’t be more wrong. While I did spend time with Tayler, we were still eight years apart so we pretty much had nothing in common other than the fact that we had the same parents. I couldn’t understand the gibberish that was coming out of her mouth and it didn’t help that she was like a human tornado every time she entered a room. She was so destructive that her nickname was “Taz”. I literally had to hide all of my belongings so she wouldn’t destroy them when she came into my room. I had to hide the breakables and make sure I didn’t have anything that could spill. I was constantly picking up after her, but I loved her nonetheless. She kept me on my toes and always had me laughing. I am happy to report that she still makes me laugh, just much harder. It wasn’t until she was in high school that we began to grow closer. My advice to her was more relevant and she could talk to me about things that she probably wouldn’t talk to my parents about. Her laugh makes me laugh, not because it’s a funny laugh (well sort of), but because it is a pure laugh, one that makes me proud to be her big sister.
Three years after Tayler was born, my parents decided to have another baby. My parents decided that if they had another baby then cool, if not, then that is cool too. So I suppose they weren’t not trying. Apparently my mom was fertile myrtle because she got pregnant not with one baby, but two! Before you ask, no, twins do not run on my mom’s side of the family, it was just a fluke. There is more to the story, but that is my mom’s story to tell, not mine. When she came home from her doctor’s office, she showed us her ultrasound photo that showed Baby A and Baby B. We all thought she meant view A and view B. We were mistaken. She repeated herself, “Baby A and Baby B”. When it finally clicked, everyone was beside themselves. How the hell were we going to take care of two more babies? And yes it was “we” because we were all in it together. I was excited, but scared at the same time. I had just gotten used to having a toddler as a sibling (a devilish toddler at that), now there would be two more of them! I think my worst fear was that they would be terrors like Tayler and if they were identical I would have trouble telling them apart from one another. To my relief, several months later John and Rhyan were born.
Once the twins were born, I think I was just entering the age where I wanted my own space so I would retreat to my room a lot. I also didn’t want them in my room because they were slobbery and sticky! Never fear though. Those little monsters found their way into my room one way or another. I would eventually put a baby gate in my doorway to keep them out, but they were just so cute I couldn’t handle denying them entry. They were much more mellow than Tayler was and they would just wander about my room without really making much noise. Now they are young adults and are doing things I probably don’t want to know about. They will call me from time to time and we will talk about what life is currently throwing at us, but most of the time we text or share memes.
I think my relationship with John and Rhyan is and was more of a parent/child type of relationship than it was with Tayler because I was 11 years old when they were born. There was an even bigger age gap, so I really didn’t understand the gibberish they thought were words. It was easier to let them be on their own because the three of them had each other to play with and they understood each other. They would do their own thing while I did mine. Once again I was by myself. I think that is why I don’t mind being on my own today. To this day I don’t like large gatherings for a long period of time. Even though we are more than a decade apart, I couldn’t be more happy to be John and Rhyan’s older sister. John has the biggest heart and his care for others amazes me. Rhyan is my mighty little protector and defender and she will always have my back. Tayler is full of spirit and her humor warms my heart. All four of our personalities couldn’t be more different, yet we are the same.
Having siblings that are much younger than me is one of the biggest challenges because we aren’t as close to each other like siblings that are one, two, or three years apart. At times I was like a third parent to my siblings. I still struggle with this because I have a hard time of wanting to be a parent figure to them and wanting to be their friend and I am not sure which person they want me to be when they ask me for advice. I am pretty sure it’s the later, although I want to be both, but I suppose being their parent isn’t my job. I am sad that we weren’t closer while growing up, but now that we are older it is easier to talk to them about certain things. It is absolutely uncensored and i love it. I admire all three of my siblings and I am humbled they are mine. Even though we are separated by years in age and miles in living distance, we have a special bond and I will cherish that forever.