Here's something funny. I'm the eldest of four kids, and we're all born in August.
Though my birthday has yet to pass, their birthdays have sailed smoothly. Born within a week of each other. Cakes bought, candles blown, mouths stuffed. I have to wait till' the 25th for my cake, but it's okay. It will correspond with the end of my exams.
Birthdays are important in my family, they have always been important. Growing, changing, and celebrating the years you lived and will live. There are things I'd like to write that I won't say aloud. This is to my favourite nuisances in the world.
You're seventeen now.
For the next two weeks, you and I will be the same age. You will remind me every day. I’m going to give you a hug that will last ten seconds, then tell you that it will get harder from now. Sixteen is a quick gust of wind compared to the tornado of seventeen. I’m hoping that my big sister wisdom has rubbed off on you. Though, only time will tell if you actually listened.
I’m happy to know you’re happy. You’re stressed by the same things I stressed over last year. School, friends, teenage trifling. Trust me, you’ll get through it. I won’t tell you that but know I mean it.
Understand that life is life. My life is different than yours, yours is different than mine. I try extremely hard so they won’t meet. It is not because I don’t want you to be a part of my life. It’s because I want you to have your own. Your life will be grand, with odd adventures that I won’t be a part of with people I may never meet.
That’s okay. Live your life, I’ll just watch.
I don’t care if you’re fifteen, or that you’re taller than me by a foot. You’re still my baby brother who drooled on my dresses but smiled wide enough to make me forget.
You look like me now with a bigger nose and bawdier eyebrows. You will be popular with girls that I will have to scare away. I’m excited to see the fear in their eyes when they see me. They will try and fail to gain my approval. You’re my baby boy, my favourite (and only) brother, and you’re special. I coddle you when Mom isn’t there to.
I can’t tell you how life will be like at fifteen. I want to think it would be like mine. In truth, you’re a boy studying in a different school and doing different things. I don't know how to explain teenage boyhood to you. I'd ask you to ask Dad, but I don't think he even knows. So here's what I'm going to tell you instead. I love you, and you should say that to me more.
And stop calling me Kaka Bob.
Ten years old and still growing up. You have lived a good decade. Among us four, you are by far the loudest. That says a lot considering we are all loud, boisterous and opinionated. Much to the dismay of our parents.
You gained my strong sense of sarcasm and wit, and inherited Syasya’s aggressive emotions. A horrible combination placed in a little girl on the brink of puberty. I might not be around to see you grow up. When your voice deepens, when you sprout six inches of height, when you have to face your fear of bras. I might be far away, studying something or too immersed in my own problems to see. I'm apologizing in advance.
I'm sorry I can't be your big sister for the next decade of your life. I'll be it in name, but I can't teach you about boys or clothes or school. Mom may try but she'll fail, and Syasya is more clueless than I am. I can only hope you will give me a call, to help figure out this pubescent stage. Just like I help you turn on the TV everyday.
Wow, this has been emotional. Excuse me while I compose myself and become the detached big sister archetype again.
Jokes aside, I hope you enjoyed this semi-personal post of mine. Whether you're a big sister or little sister or only child, it's important to impose some 'wisdom' onto the people you love. Or at least tell them you love them.
So what would you say to your siblings?