I’ve always wondered what life might have been like if I had an older brother. Sure, I’ve got a younger brother. I’ve even got a younger sister AND an older sister. But there’s something about having an older brother that always intrigued me and made me wonder what it might be like. I imagined him as someone who would have protected me from all the bullies at school, and been the first one to ask me who he was beating up when I came home crying. He would have hugged me close when a boy broke my heart, telling me that that boy didn’t deserve me anyways. He would have teased me relentlessly, making me mad or annoyed, but I would have learned to just dish it back and instead of cat fights, we probably would have wrestled it out, probably giving me a few more broken bones than what my current count is. I think it would have made me stronger, mentally, emotionally and definitely physically.
Having an older would have definitely been different, but just how different? I’m not sure. Maybe I wouldn’t have turned out so emotional, crying at the drop of a hat. I might have known more of how to deal with boys and how they act, how to interact with them, etc. I might have learned earlier on how to stand up for myself, whether it was because I had to stand up to him or he taught me how to stand up to people. Having an older brother probably would have been great, and my siblings probably think the same thing. After all, we all had someone we referred to as an “older brother” at some point in our lives.
There are times I remember that he would have helped with, like that moment when my older sister had a dilemma with boys and didn’t know what to do when two boys liked her at once. Or when one of them broke her heart, she would have turned to him instead of me for comfort, and told her that he didn’t deserve her anyways. When either of my sisters came home crying, I would pull them into a huge bear hug and ask who I needed to beat up, but he could have done that. Teasing my siblings about their crushes and their quirks would always get a reaction out of them and I would always crack a smug grin and run away before they could catch me and pay me back. Seems like something he would have done... We would wrestle with our dad and if you ever asked my little brother who the strongest person in our family was, it was always me before my dad, without hesitation. An older brother might have been competition in that category. I don’t think I would have been the one my little brother came to for girl issues or other problems he might have had. My sister wouldn’t have come to me when she had issues with other girls being mean to her. My strong bear hugs would have been overlooked and not as valued if our big brother were always there to provide them.
I guess, looking at it now, I kind of took on the role of what I always imagined a big brother to be like. Being the middle sister was so difficult for me, feeling neglected and invisible for most of my life, thinking nobody really cared about me. But knowing that I could bring the comfort that I did to my siblings brings me joy to this day. I made sure, and still try to make sure, that my siblings never felt what I felt. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for my siblings. Being the one they come to for support and advice is something I’ve valued for all of my life, I just didn’t realize it until recently. They mean so much to me and I know they would do anything for me as well. So as many times I wished I had an older brother to take care of my siblings and I, I am so glad I get to be the one who took care of my siblings.