Growing up in a large family was wonderful. Being the baby of the family was even better.
I know there are stigmas that go along with that. That we are spoiled, self-centered, and get away with everything. That may be so for others, but I think my family was exceptional, so I feel like I escaped some of the negativity that plagues my position in the birth order.
According to my personal experience, I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons to being the ‘baby sister’.
First the not-so-fun parts: For instance, big sisters sometimes take on the ‘mom’ role. I had 5 big sisters but I’m proud to say, they were not forceful in this aspect.
However, one particular memory is forever etched in my mind! We visited a small church one Sunday. I was probably about 2-3 years old, simply because if I was any older, I don’t think I would have fit in the ‘torture chamber’ my siblings put me in.
They took me to the nursery and put me in the crib. This was not an ordinary crib. It was more like a wall unit, which had a double stack of smaller, enclosed cribs, and each one had wooden bars which were pulled down to keep a baby or small child safely inside without the danger of falling out.
To my recollection, it was more like a cage, and I did not like it one bit! Obviously, as I still remember it! Oh, it’s very comical now and we’ve laughed about it many times.
Debbie would try and try to get this extremely shy little girl to sing, either on a tape recorder or in front of people. “Sing, Robin, sing!”, she would say. I suppose I should thank her, since now I can’t stop!
Being called “baby sister” can be good or bad, depending on your point of view.
If you’re a teenager who is trying to be more ‘mature’, you don’t want to be called that. But when you reach the age of forty or above, being called baby anything is ok! I don’t mind it at all!
As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m finding it difficult to recollect other examples of ‘baby sis’ disadvantages. Other than the normal sibling teasing, and fighting with one of my sisters over her clothes (she knows who she is!), it was actually pretty nice!
There was the time that Gwen was pushing me on the swing at the city park. I fell off and gashed my forehead. She carried me all the way home, while I bled all over her.
And after jumping on the bed one day, I fell off and knocked the wind out of myself. My brother Kevin came to my rescue and pounded me on the back til I caught my breath again. It was very scary and I’ve always credited him with saving my life.
Of course, it’s easy to remember more of the positives! My brothers and sisters loved me! And I loved them! They were my playmates, my protectors, my examples. I celebrated their successes, shared their heartaches, and learned from their mistakes.
After they grew up and moved out of the house, I spent a lot of time with my sisters and my oldest brother in their homes.
They loved having me there, and I loved it, too. They always made me feel special and loved.
And they still do.
Come to think of it, maybe I am that spoiled baby sister. But in the best way possible:
I am spoiled on love.