>Growing up being an only child is not as promising as it sounds. You have no one to sneak out the house with, no one to share the blame when you get caught, and no one to help you hold the door closed when your mother’s on the other side of it with a slipper ready to beat your ass into next year. I envied all my friends who had siblings, even during those times when their little brother would steal their diary and read it over dinner. I mean, I wanted a sister who’d get mad at me for borrowing her clothes and not returning it too dammit!
But after seeing how hard it was for my mom to leave her brother at the Aquino airport the other day – I take it back. Because seeing the tears stream down from underneath her Tory Burch aviators as she hugged him good-bye reminded me of how she wasn’t able to say good-bye to her other brother when he passed away from brain cancer a few years ago.
It’s true – I have attachment issues. I hate good-byes, and I try not to allow myself to get close to anyone ‘cuz I’m like a bad Filipino telenovela when they’re gone. This applies to all family members, friends, and even dogs, birds, turtles, closets, shoes, automobiles, and sometimes electronics. I cried when I had to break up with my ex-boyfriends dog and said sorry outloud to my cell phone when I dropped it for the very first time. It’s true – I also have issues lol.
About 2 weeks ago, I met my half siblings for the very first time. There’s 14 year old Amber, 16 year old Elijah, 25 year old Raily, and Kaye who I’m older than by a few months. And as I watched Kaye and Raily playfully argue over directions to the bar we were going to, and noticed that Elijah would pull out my chair for me every time I sat down, I couldn’t help but think, “So this is (kinda) what it’s like to be a big sister?”
But after seeing how hard (although of course rewarding) it is to be a good role to a pretty, head strong, 14 year-old – I take it back. Because, I remember how I was when I was 14. And although I was well behaved compared to most, I didn’t want to listen to anybody. I thought I knew it all. Now more than 10 years later, I still don’t know it all and probably never will. I don’t want to have to be the older sister that tells her this. At the same time, I don’t want to be the older sister that sits back and watches her make the same mistakes I did because that’s the only real way to learn about life.
Caring for people, especially when they’re blood – is scary. I almost wish that I didn’t see my grandparents, ‘cuz it just makes me miss them THAT much more.
So you can have your brother sister pictures and elaborate family outings. You can attend their graduations and send them off to college afterwards, with hugs all around but tears in your eyes. You can whisper in your sisters ear “everything will be ok,” after her first heartbreak, and you tell your brother “see you in a year” when he gets deployed to Afghanistan. I’ll be here. Applauding you for being so brave. Admiring from afar … alone.
Not because I don’t care, but because I care TOO much.