OPINION: Me, my siblings and how they influenced my life

Micayla+Ter+Wee

Micayla Ter Wee

I hope you can look at your life and recognize who looks up to you. Think about what you do and do not want them to learn from you. 

Change your behavior accordingly because, ultimately, you do not get to choose what they remember from your actions. 

Children do not get a say in whether or not they have siblings, either.

If I had been granted the power to choose whether my parents had more children when I was eight, I would have firmly said no. I already had an older and younger brother and I was more than content being the only girl. 

I was discovering that my toddler brother, with his non-existent vocabulary and sleepless nights, was not as thrilling as I had hoped.

Despite my objections, my parents brought my younger sister into the mix. 

I have always loved my siblings, but I haven’t always appreciated them. I despised the power my older brother had. My younger brother and sister’s hold on my parents’ attention angered me. 

Our parents always harped that some day the four of us would be friends and come to appreciate one another. 

But that was a hard concept to understand when all we did was yell and wrestle with each other.

When my older brother left for college, I took on the role of being the oldest sibling in the house. The dynamics in each relationship changed. 

The distance between my older brother and me morphed our interactions from yelling matches into guidance and jokes.

My younger siblings began to see me as a role model and mimicked my behavior, sometimes to my parents’ dismay. 

Warnings from my parents about how my younger siblings would follow my example were slowly making sense to me. As they got older, my choice of words and actions were becoming more important.

After being away at college for a year, I lived at home this summer and noticed my sister now dressed like me.

My younger brother asked me endless questions about my college experiences and stories.

I was flattered at their interest in my life, but also intimidated. With this attention came the increased pressure to make honorable decisions. 

They were always watching and learning from me. 

They saw every good and bad decision I made. 

This summer, I resolved to be more deliberate with my language and behaviors. I wanted my siblings to see the best version of myself.

 

Micayla Ter Wee is a secondary education Spanish major and can be reached at [email protected].