from your big sister


Just in a few days, it is raksha bhandan, an Indian holiday that celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. So it got me thinking of course about my own siblings….

I have a younger sister and younger brother and while they both have been pains in my rear end at times, they are truly the most important people in my entire life. Here is what I’ve always wanted to tell them…the things only an older sister could say.

Dear younger siblings,

I know you have looked up to me in our youth, often without me knowing it. But for the most part, I did know it. Being your big sister was a responsibility that I never took lightly. It was in the after school snacks I made you of toaster oven pizza on sandwich bread and microwave popcorn or in cheering for you at your baseball games and swim meets when our hard working immigrant parents couldn’t always attend.

As we get older, I miss those days. You both always just feel like…home. I miss the days of no worries, of talking on the phone as a teenager and you tugging my shirt to help with homework.

I miss sitting with you, at the table, helping you spell out words or do math problem. And then one day, beaming inside because I saw you solve math problems better than I ever did.

I know it wasn’t always that peachy at home. I know that we found friendship in one another when catastrophes hit our home. The robbery or our grandfather passing away in an earthquake.

I remember seeing the fear and hurt in your hearts, and all I wanted to do was protect you both.

I’m not mom, but I always felt like a second mom. One that looked into your eyes and knew what you were feeling because I had been there pretty recently myself. And for the record, no, I never told mom when you told me not to 🙂

I know I yelled at you though, to pick up your things, to leave me alone, to just grow up already.

While I meant it to pick your clothes up off the floor, I never meant the latter.

As adults, I can’t imagine not having your comradeship now so thank you for always tagging along behind me, for not leaving me alone.

Thank you for not rushing to grow up. It’s overrated, so stay in your youth as long as you can.

And yes, while you emerge as adults in your own lives, to me, you will still always be young. My little bro, my little sis.

It’s different now though. When we were younger I overheard you tell your friends how cool I was. My sister can throw that basketball all the way from here. My sister is the best writer. My sister is the prettiest in the whole school.

Even if I didn’t believe those things myself, you reminded me to try to. Because if I didn’t, then you wouldn’t believe all the wonderful things I knew about you.

And now, it’s quite the opposite…I seem to be bragging about the two of you all the time. I learn from you both and am blown away by who you have grown into.

Your patience with my daughter. Your ability to stay true to what you believe in. The way you stepped up to care for our parents while they were sick.

We’ve shared things that no one else has. And forgiven. I’m pretty sure little brother, you have forgiven us for cutting off all your hair that time we tried giving you a bowl haircut. And sis, I’ve forgiven you for always stealing my clothes, like you forgave me for embarrassing you in front of your first crush.

It’s unconditional. And you taught me this pure love in ways I can never explain to the world, but it shines through in my marriage and my friendships. It’s because of you.

And there is nothing like the comfort of what we share…being home to one another. Lifelong best friends. So when you call me for advice, to vent or just because you had a feeling you should (you always seem to know) I am here. Always.


Your big sis.

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