So I’ve touched on it previously, but as well as having an older sister, I have two little siblings who are a lot younger than I am. My brother Riley is six, and my sister Katie is five. They’re technically half-siblings, but that phrase makes me feel all gross inside, because my love for them is definitely not halved. If anything, it’s doubled. The negative side to all this? They live over a thousand kilometres away, up in north Queensland, with my dad and stepmum. It sucks, that distance, but in another way it also makes my visits super special and I really treasure the time we had together.
I was lucky enough to sneak in a visit last week – for about ten days – so I could be there when they started school for the year. Riley started Grade 1, and Katie started prep – her first year at “big school” and she was super excited and also just a tiny bit nervous. I absolutely loved being there and hanging out with them for those ten days even though they absolutely flew by quicker than I would’ve liked. While I was there, I kept thinking about all these little things that some people my age would never experience, if they didn’t have much younger siblings – and I don’t want to forget some of the funny and downright silly things we do – so thought I’d document them here.
You might be a big sister if you go to the toilet, and come out to find someone (cough, Riley, cough) perched on a pile of pillows stacked against the door so he falls into you when you open it. You might be a big sister if you’re woken up early in the morning by knocks at your door, and your little sister comes in with sleepy eyes and bedhair, and she wants to snuggle under the covers. You might be a big sister if you both sneak under the covers and turn on your star projector – and your little cubby lights up, and suddenly the whole world is just you, and her.
You might be a big sister if you spend hours playing lego – building planes, and trains, and houses, and caravans, and contraptions that are actually all four of those things mixed together. You might be a big sister if you sit on the floor of the shower, block the drain, squeeze out some soap onto the tiles and lather it into bubbles while your little brother or sister giggle excitedly. It’s called a “bath-shower”, in case you were wondering, and it’s a Nikki specialty.
You might be a big sister if you get super excited about loose teeth, and talk about the perks of the tooth fairy, and what she does with all the teeth she collects. If you build forts out of pillows and blankets, if you tie a quilt around your shoulders so you’re royalty, if you host dance parties and listen to Shake It Off fifty times in a row. I wish I was exaggerating.
You might be a big sister if you know how painful it is to say goodbye – to know it might be months before you see these little faces again, and just wish they were old enough to comprehend exactly what you mean when you say “I love you” because you mean that you would give them the stars if you could, that you’d build a world of your own making just to keep them safe, that you would carry them while your own knees buckled. But to them love is cuddles, and kisses, and playing in the sprinkler. To them, love is saying yes to playing the Sims on my computer and agreeing to call my character Lollipop Gumdrop. And so I say yes to all those things, as much as I possibly can, because they’ll only want me to do it for a while.
And so I thought I’d share these things, before I forget them and they’re too big to want to do them again… and I figured I’d sign this post off with what I tell Riley and Katie every day I see them.
I love you lots and lots, and very much.
PS. My flight home got delayed over six hours – so instead of landing at 6pm like I was supposed to, I touched down on the Brisbane tarmac at 12.01am. The only perk? Brisbane city’s lights while we hovered over the city. It was so damn beautiful, I thought I was flying over the stars instead of underneath them. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but I thought it was worth a shot.