I’m stuck in the middle, stuck between an older brother and a little brother. People often look upon the middle child negatively. Because they are somehow always forgotten about, and when they get a sparse amount of attention, it’s usually for all the wrong reasons. I, however, respectively disagree. I am who I am today because of my family and, most importantly, because of my role as the middle child.
From the day I was born I had an immediate best friend. My older brother was the leader. If he wanted to play with tinker-toys, then I wanted to play with tinker-toys. When he laughed, I laughed. For a while, we did everything together. Even when our rooms were feet apart, we wore matching lobster pajamas and slept in the same bed.
Some of my fondest memories are growing up with an older brother. When he drove me to my first day of high school, he could sense my nerves. He had felt the same two years ago, so he switched my favorite song on the radio for comfort. How fortunate I am to have someone walk through life a couple years ahead of me. I was able to stand back and watch as he faced challenges I would soon face. He would navigate first, and I followed confidently right behind. Most importantly, my older brother taught me how to listen, to take advice and to take a step-back for others to lead.
Yet, our relationship is not perfect. Everything is a competition, but it only forces both of us to be the best versions of ourselves.
My little brother was born years behind me. Overnight, I went from an average seven-year-old to a seven-year-old with a burp cloth and pacifier in hand. I knew what it was like to have a strong bond with a sibling, and I wanted the same for him and me. And so, I was there as he learned to walk and talk. This time I was the leader. I was always, and still am, his role model.
My little brother looks up to me more than any other person. The joy I feel at the end of every night when he screams from his room “you’re the best sister ever, and I love you” cannot be compared. I am the one with whom he spends countless summer days and who teaches him how to do his math homework. I can make him belly laugh endlessly. Our little traditions— after-dinner piggyback rides, or special handshake - remind me of our bond. Being his older sibling forced me to take on a new kind of responsibility. After all, if I was going to be a role model for him, I had to be the best person I could be.
Today, I rely on the same qualities I’ve been practicing my entire life. Being the middle child has improved and implored my confidence and sense of responsibility, and has given me strong leadership skills. My success on the Community Leadership Team at school has truly been because of my role in my family. I was chosen to be a model for younger high schoolers because of my leadership skills and my ability to listen and be there. So, while to many being the middle sibling may seem like being short-changed, it has proven to be the single most valuable aspect of me.