Although I was a full 10 years younger than her, I was always extremely protective of my big sister. She taught me so much, and still does ‘til this day, and I wanted nothing more than to be the little sister who always had her back.
When mom was working hard full-time to provide for us as a single-parent while attaining her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, my sister held down the fort and took care of me. And while she, at times, was frustrated that I seemed to have more freedom as the youngest child (though it was often just that times and circumstances had changed) while she bore the responsibility as the eldest, she provided solid support to my mother. She was there to help raise and guide me.
Between my mom and sister, I saw what women were capable of accomplishing when the world was for them and against them. Furthermore, they constantly showed me what I was made of, giving me a deep sense of pride and the ability to face life and all of its blessings and challenges.
So, when I went on to have my own two daughters, Arionna and Gabrielle (who are 3 years and 6 months apart), I paid special attention to the development of their sisterhood because I knew how great a role it had played in my life. While their age gap is much smaller than the one between my sister and I, there are similarities between the role my eldest daughter serves within this household and the role my sister served in ours.
To all the big sisters and brothers, this one is especially for you.
Read the full interview about this experience with my 10 years-old daughter here.
More of my PhillyVoice.com articles: