Nobody is perfect, though I, like many others I’ve come to know, tried to be “perfect” for more years than I care to admit. The thing is, imperfection is a part of being human, and while I might have tried to be without flaw in front of those I thought expected it, my human imperfections often came out “behind-the-scenes” and toward the most vulnerable. In my childhood years, that was my younger siblings.
With the possible exception of one of my sisters, I think any of them would tell you I was a mean big sister. At times, that was true. My mother and father had five children in six years, and as the oldest, I became the “back-up” mom at the age of six. As I got older, if my mother was ill, which she often was, I was often the “primary” mom.
If, during those times, I couldn’t get my three younger sisters and one youngest brother to do what needed to be done, I would scream and yell at them. But why should they listen to a sister who was only slightly older? I liken the situation to students misbehaving with a substitute teacher. I was not their mom. Why should they obey me?
If screaming and yelling didn’t work, I’d pull hair. If that didn’t work, I’d hit, maybe even kick. And if that didn’t work, well, I’m ashamed to admit I tried tactics that were even worse.
When I look back, I feel much regret for the way I treated them, and I’ve apologized to all of my siblings. I can’t do anything about the past, but as an adult, I’ve tried to be a good oldest sister. Still, I’m human and have my flaws.
A few of us may still have some scars. But, when times are tough, we are there for each other. I have no doubt we all love each other. I’m grateful to have such compassionate, loving, supportive siblings, especially during difficult times, like the death of my mom last year.
Happy Siblings Day to all of my siblings–Cyndie, Kim, Tami and Chuck. I love you all very much and count my blessings for you every day.