MEET THE FAMILY

Siblings. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Siblings can either be the best friends you were born with or your worst enemy. In my case, I got two best friends who make me laugh harder than anyone. In honor of last week’s National Sibling Day, I thought I would take some time to introduce my wonderful brother and sister and tell you why family is oh-so-important to us.

As you all may know, I am a senior in college and 21. My sister, Alexis, is 18 and only a month away from graduating high school (how!). My brother, Max, is 13 about only a month away from leaving middle school and going to high school (again, HOW!). We aren’t super close in age which makes it even more amazing that we are able to be so close.

 

Sisters Are Everything

My mother tells me that when my sister was born, I was head over heels in love with her. Then she grew up, stopped listening to my bossy self, quit wearing dresses, and a feud began. My lipgloss-wearing, bubblegum-chewing self wanted nothing to do with my little sister who just wanted to hang with the boys. I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t let me put makeup on her or let me dress her up. I was annoyed that my sister wasn’t my doll anymore. Typical oldest child, am I right?

Eleven years later and things look a lot different. My sister is my best friend and someone I look up to. When I started to trade lipgloss for chapstick and bubblegum for mints, we began to meet in the middle. When I was in high school we started sharing clothes and they bridged the gap of our weird polar-opposite thing that had been going for so many years.

I’m going to be honest, my sister is a better person than I will ever be. She’s brave, bold, confident, and just straight up fearless. I have always admired the way she has stepped out in faith each and every day. Sisters (or best friends) are God’s reminder that someone is always going to have your back. They teach you how to be a better person and, in my case, teach you how to be a little more selfless. When I am afraid, my sister reminds me to “fear not.” Best friends and sisters are what we all need.

 

What My Brother Has Taught Me

Oh, Max. My brother is hands down the funniest and most intelligent person I have ever met. While my sister and I prefer English and history, Max loves science and math. He somehow knows nearly every part of the body and he’s only 13. He knows exactly how to make us laugh and exactly when to ease the tension in our household. He’s just dang brilliant.

With an age gap of seven years, I can remember Max since he was born. I remember the baby cries, the gross puke, and his chubby little baby cheeks. I remember the way he hated to be cuddled (and still does) despite the fact that’s all my sister and I wanted to do with him. Being able to remember the day Max was born makes it even the more surreal to see him becoming a young man.

When you’re the third child and your sisters are Miss Bossy and Miss Bossier, you’re gonna get pushed around and told what to do quite a bit. My favorite thing about Max? He gives it right back to us. “Max, empty the dishwasher.” “Why don’t you?” Some of you may see this as irritating and sometimes it is. The reason I love it is because he’s always asking questions. He always seems to want to know more than what’s on the surface. He is a knowledge junkie.

Whether he is reading his Bible or his biology books (yep, that’s a thing), he wants to learn. My brother makes me want to stop being so satisfied with the basics and always wanting to dig deeper. I always wanted an older brother to teach me these things, but God knew I needed to learn through the eyes of a child (although he is definitely not a kid anymore). Watch your siblings and what they do. You might be able to learn a thing or two from them.

 

Why Family Is So Important

I am so lucky to have a family that is so passionate about being a family. Traditions and family time are so important to all of us. Giving up family time for us is extremely difficult. Our family isn’t mushy and sappy, it’s actually more like weird secret languages our parents don’t understand, laughing until we can’t speak, and lots and lots of ridicule. Someone is being a brat? You will get called out. You smell a little weird? You will get called out. That’s the best thing about my family. It’s always all out on the table and you cannot walk away without becoming a slightly better person. We are a family that laughs and cries together. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly, my family is my safe place.

If you are having difficulties in your family, think about ways in which you can mend them and do it. You only have one family and they were given to you for a reason. Love them despite their flaws and they will love you despite yours. Life is too short to not have your siblings by your side.

 

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