The Boys And Me This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   On July 28, 1980, I came into the world without so much as a barrette in the few strands of hair I had - to my youngest brother's chagrin. He would put his head close to my mother's tummy and conclusively exclaim - in spite of doctor's prognostication to the contrary - I would be a girl. What makes my birth such a triumph is that as the last of four children, I am the only girl. I am sure that if my parents had had 39 boys, I would have been the fortieth child. So, I grew up the youngest and only girl. I do not believe I am spoiled, but if you asked my brothers, you might get a different answer.

Some wonder what it is like to have three older brothers. The colors black and blue take on a new significance, but, other than that, I would not have it any other way. I became attached to my brothers at a young age, both in the literal and figurative sense. My daily exercise consisted of chasing them around our backyard. This was a futile pursuit because I was a toddler who had just mastered walking, and had fistfuls of grass within my grasp more frequently than my evading brothers. They treated me more like a pet than a sister. The tricks they taught me are quite amusing now, but at the time ... My brothers thought it would be humorous to teach me profanity at the age of two. One night we went out dinner and I decided to let everybody admire my newfound knowledge. Fortunately, my mother quickly assured me that there was a "truck" outside.

Having three older brothers set me on a crash course to become an athlete. Wrap me up with a few towels and I was a ready-made goalie, catcher, or defender. I never minded, and most of the time I found it fun. My brothers set our household in a whirl, and I was at the center.

My brothers have had more of an impact on my life than I readily acknowledge. My quick wit developed from years of response to their constant teasing and joking. My love of sports may have originated from our early encounters. Having three older brothers can sometimes seem as if I have three extra parents. Their guidance, although not always appreciated, comes out of love. My oldest brother welcomed me into his world on an equal footing. We can talk about topics from music to mollusks. My middle brother has instilled in me a drive to do my best and to work to fulfill my potential. Finally, my youngest brother has taught me the importance of activism, to fight against the injustices of our society. I am often asked who my favorite brother is, but the answer is not that simple. It's almost like asking which body part is my favorite. They all perform different functions but I could not live without all of them or their synergetic relationship. Although we are siblings, I know we will always be friends, too. I may not have been born with a barrette in my hair, but with brothers to keep the strands of my life in place, who needs one? c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Kennedy7127 said...
Dec. 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm
This is such a sweet piece! Family rocks sometimes, doesn't it? :)
 
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