I’m the youngest by 5.5 years of 2 girls in my family. Mom always calls me her #1 #2. Being the youngest had its pros and cons. With a 5.5-year difference between Lisa and me, it sometimes felt like I was an only child. When Lisa was 18 and going to college, I was only 13 and in 8th grade.
Having a sister that was that much older than me, I always had someone that I aspired to be more like. If she did something, I wanted to do the same. Her interests became mine. When we lived in the same house, I always viewed her as more of an authority figure rather than a sister. Someone to look up to and someone to listen to.
I remember one time when I was in trouble and mom was chasing me around the house with the desire to slap my face for being sassy. Lisa was sitting at the kitchen table and as I went around the table, Lisa put her leg up against the wall blocking my escape. Mom caught me. I glared at my betrayer. Lisa simply said “You deserved it. You were being a brat.”
Being the youngest also brought about some benefits. For example, Lisa never got her own car until she went to college, whereas I got my very own car when I was 16. Granted that car was no prize, but it was mine and gave me freedom.
Another benefit in my eyes is that I didn’t have to blaze my own trail. I could look at my sister’s experiences and decide if I wanted to follow in her footsteps or not. I, of course, chose to emulate Lisa in many ways, but I wouldn’t have had to if I didn’t want to.
One downside of having a sister so much older was that we didn’t have the same interests at the same time. When she was interested in boys and dances, I was still thinking they had cooties. When she was looking at colleges, I was still participating in sleepovers.
It wasn’t until we were both married with kids that the years disappeared between us. I no longer realize the difference in our ages. The difference between 13 and 18 is much greater than the difference between 52 and 57.
I love being the younger sister and continually learning from my older sibling’s wisdom. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but you have to realize… they saved the best for last!