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Ciara Knisely

Being A Big Sister

by Ciara Knisely | Jun 23, 2017

Being a big sister is hard.

I have two younger brothers, one who’s 17 and another who’s 5, so I get the best of both worlds.

It’s been hard to balance between wanting to be their friend and wanting to shelter them from the world, while also trying not to bite their heads off because they drive me insane. It’s not easy and it’s not always fun. But it’s also the most incredible thing in the world, because I get to help them and watch them grow up. The best part is that by giving me brothers, life just automatically gave me two friends (who can never escape me even if they try).

My 17 year-old brother will be a senior in high school this fall, playing on the varsity football team. I remember being a kid and seeing the big football players, thinking they were so huge and old. Now, my brother is one of those kids, but he’s still little to me. Of course, he’s taller than me and probably has muscles twice my size, but he’s still my little brother. We fought so much when we were young; getting along was probably a rare occurrence. In fact, I remember being so mad at him as a child that I threw a hard, plastic toy at him, accidentally cutting his head open. But I also remember his scared voice in the bathroom as I looked at my bloody reflection in the mirror after crashing on my bike, and I remember watching movies in the car with him and giving him weird nicknames just for fun. Now he’s too old to hang out with me and I regret the constant fighting with him in our childhood.

My 5 year-old brother is the most chaotic thing in my life, but also the most fun. I stood next to my mom at around 4 in the morning while she gave birth to him. I was a freshman in high school and drowning in my depression. I didn’t realize that one little human could bring so much happiness into my family’s lives. He wasn’t planned, but I think he was meant to show up. It was like I had a brand-new best friend in my life. Now he’s five and demands constant attention, but he makes life more fun. We do lots of playing (and talking about Pokémon, which is the latest fad among five-year-olds). Because he has a teenage brother and twenty-year-old sister, he talks like he’s the boss and is old enough to do whatever he wants, which is hilarious and frustrating at the same time.

I have best memories with my brothers. Even if some of those memories were filled with anger or annoyance at the time, I wouldn’t trade them for anything, because now all of those memories revolve around the growing companionship that we have.

I’m still trying to figure out my life, but nothing would be the same without my brothers. I can only hope that I’ve been a good role model for them and that I will still be in the future. Being a big sister is hard, and sometimes the responsibilities that come with it are ones that I don’t want (like babysitting, picking a certain brother up at one in the morning, and trying to make the little one happy when nothing else seems to). But, I also know that they’ve made me who I am. I have two awesome little brothers who I wouldn’t be the same without. 

Ciara Knisely ’18 is an English-Creative Writing major and Journalism minor, and hopes to continue her writing career in the future. She spends her time working at the Writing Center on campus and is a Co-Editor of the Oak Leaves newspaper.

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