My big sis, Marina, is lucky enough to be a mother today to an already smart and determined little girl. However, she played an important role in helping my mom raise me and my younger sister. I think it is pretty normal for the older sibling to become “mommy’s helper” but Marina really took on some big responsibilities early on.
From helping change our diapers, giving us baths, preparing meals, helping with homework, putting us to bed, dressing us for school–and even being our sole supervisor after school while my mom finished the work day–Marina really stepped up and went above and beyond what is expected of a big sister.
Maybe an older sibling should not have so much responsibility riding on their shoulders at an early age, she is only 5 years older than me, but when you’re a single mom and don’t have a lot of money to spare sometimes big sis needs to be the full time babysitter. Although we did go through a few babysitters…only one managed to pass Marina’s scrutiny, but just barely.
Of course, Marina wasn’t the perfect little mommy all the time. She was by big sis after all, and with that come certain rights and expectations! Being an “all knowing and wise” older sibling we looked up to her and believed everything she said. Why would we doubt her? She’s older and wiser! Far more experienced than we were! There are a few times I’ve written about our adventures on this blog, like the time we jumped off the roof or when we had sleepovers in the living room.
Given all that, even during our hardest most trying times she always managed to figure out a way to make us laugh and smile. In my eyes she was the funniest person I ever met. She could always spin a good and hilarious bedtime story that would drive our mother mad because we’d be up giggling the night away. But I think she secretly thought it was precious.
Sometimes, even to this day, a slip of the tongue happens and I accidentally call her “Mama.” It just spills out of my mouth without even realizing until once it’s out! Whenever we tease each other about the way we “turned out” we tease back at her “Well, you helped raise me!”
All those years of helping raise us and being our “leader” are now being put to use as she raises her own daughter. I can already tell she is doing such a good job with my niece. She really is a great mommy.