Everyone torments their younger siblings. We do it because we can. We do it because it's fun. But mostly, we do it because we hate having to share everything with them, especially blame. It doesn't mean we're vicious monsters, though.
I’ll never forget sitting in the car with you the summer of 2020, the summer of the Pandemic, the summer the car we were sharing had no A.C., and we had to make our weekly grocery store haul. I was low on money. I was embarrassed. I worked up the courage to tell you that I couldn’t help pay for groceries this week, and you smiled and casually said, “I was already planning on covering it, anyway.” This is just a small example of how loved and accepted you make me feel, always.
To my best friend and baby sister,
Being bullied from middle school throughout high school was a very life changing experience, however it built character. Personally, I find myself still learning about myself in the midst of forgiveness and healing, but that’s what life is all about. I remember being tormented in my last year of eighth grade and coming home crying to my older brother about my appearance and how much I wanted to look like a different girl.
It was about 41 years ago. I was wor in vice unit as a young police officer in Washington DC. As I entered the stat the station clerk yelled at me to please call my sister Chrystal and she then gave me a piece of paper with a number on it.
I am the youngest of 4 girls in my family. Me and my three older sisters had decided we wanted to get a matching tattoo about 4 years ago!
There is no one in this world I love more than my younger brother. For the last 15 years, he's been my best friend and my worst enemy. He's been the voice of reason and the peacekeeper in the family, and he's been like that for a very long time. My mother calls him an "old soul" and I can't help but agree with her. He's one of the smartest people I know, and his mind is amazing in all different kinds of ways.
Pearl Watkins raised ten children as a single parent in the small town of Maddox, Louisiana in the 1950s. The children were like stairsteps because they were born one or two years apart. Of the ten children, there were eight girls and two boys. Pearl wanted a boy so she kept having babies until the ninth child was a boy. She loved Bernard so much that she has another boy that she named Grayson. Bernard and Grayson seemed to get all the attention, but the girls didn't mind because there were eight of them. They played together, wore each other's clothes, and even bickered among themselves.
I had just finished the book.....amazing story! Was it a true story? I had to find out, so I looked it up online and sure enough! The story was written from the perspective of the founder. It was a true story about her life and how she came to do what she had always been passionate about. I wanted to go. I thought about how much fun it would be to go and even more so, how much fun it would be to take my sister. Our love for animals was so similar. I thought about it and realized her thirteenth birthday would be coming up in a few months. What a better present than to visit a non profit animal sanctuary.
I grew up in a large family, which is something I look back fondly on; it builds character, leaves you with sweet childhood memories, and gives you friends for life in your siblings. Being born in 1996 meant my siblings and I grew up with the internet, just like kids now, except without the freedom and advancements. It meant dial-up internet and that terrible high-frequency squealing blasting through your speakers when your mom was on the phone and you're trying to ask what your best friend is wearing to school tomorrow over MSN messenger. It meant playing pinball on your desktop because you ran out of things to do on your internet browser. It meant having to share an email address with your sister so you could monitor each other and tattle-tale for brownie points if one of you got on the other's nerves. My childhood holds all of my most wholesome online memories, which as we all know, shifts into different territories as we grow older. As we mature, so does our vocabulary, so does our temper, and so do the technological advancements being released with our computers and phones. Having a sister less than two years older than me to hold my hand throughout my childhood, but never really have the upper hand since we were so close in age really helped me stay safe and smart growing up. So to now watch our youngest sister (who is a whopping thirteen years younger than I, the second youngest in the family) try to make her way through what is the internet today has really opened our eyes to how different of an upbringing and worldview the younger generation has. We find ourselves sending her TikToks in our group chat and laughing and then cringing our way through them. We find ourselves calling our father once a week to report on what new mind-boggling video she has posted of herself, whether that includes uneducated claims of mental illness to fit in or discussions with people twice her age. It essentially means we are uncomfortable every day sharing the same platforms we use ourselves with a different generation who is using them differently and more outwardly than we have ever seen or experienced. What it has really made me realize is that when we chat with our youngest sister about what posting these things can look like or lead to makes her view us the same way we view the generations preceding us! The "okay boomer" memes we laugh at now apply to us in the eyes of these children! It is both alarming and hilarious to fit into this box and makes me question where the world is headed next, another reason I suit the "boomer" name. What I've taken away from this is that every generation views the one before it as unadvanced, archaic and non-trendy, and the one after it is alarming, overly-liberal and privacy-less.