No one can make you angry like your siblings, and I have four of them. Brothers and sisters can be your best friends or your worst enemies, depending on the day, but the bond we share with our siblings is different from any other bond we form in life. You can’t choose your siblings the way you can choose your friends, but your shared history and childhood makes them a familiar part of you that will always be ingrained in your mind and in your heart. My most potent memories are the ones where I’m with my siblings, and although they may not be especially life changing memories, they helped shape who I am because of the people in them.
One of the earliest memories I have is of sitting on the beige carpet of my sister Kelsey’s room, playing on the floor while she flitted around doing whatever teenage Kelsey did. She would always have her favorite music playing on the boombox, whether it was Fall Out Boy or The Fray, and to this day, there are songs from that time that bring me back to my old house on Hillcrest Avenue in my big sister’s bedroom playing with Legos and My Little Ponies. “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s is one such song, and even though the song itself doesn’t speak to me, I get such a familiar and comforting feeling every time I listen to it. It’s not as if I was doing anything especially exciting; I was just being around my sister, but when you’re little and your big sister is your idol, that alone seems pretty exciting. I know the lyrics to this song word for word, and the same goes for almost every other song Kelsey played from her favorite CDs. I might not know them without hearing them, and I might not even like them, but they are the songs that played in the background of my childhood, and they will always be some of the most significant songs I ever hear.
When my sister Kelsey and I would spend time together, usually it was just doing the typical activities, playing Uno and Slapjack, watching Disney movies, and generally just me bugging her for attention. However, there was one day that was one of the most fun times we ever shared together. It was the weekend, and it was storming outside; not as much thunder and lightning, but lots of heavy rain and dark clouds. I still don’t remember what possessed us or whose idea it was, but somehow or another we ended up outside, in the rain, chasing each other and generally acting like crazed hooligans. At some point we got cups and held them under the drain pipe on the roof, collecting the water and dumping it on each other. Eventually we went inside, wet and shivering, and dried off. Every time it stormed after that, I would beg her to go out and run around in the rain again, but she was always busy. Most days, my sister and I get distracted by our everyday routines, and we don’t have time for spontaneous adventures, but I would never forget that if I needed her, she’d be there in a heartbeat. In Avicii’s song “Hey Brother,” the lyrics “Hey, sister, know the water's sweet but blood is thicker. / Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you, / There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do” remind me that even when my siblings and I take each other for granted and forget to make time for each other I know we will always be there for one another (lines 2-4). The parts of the song that refer to water and the sky make me think of the way the rain fell on our faces like needles from the dark clouds. Even during the storms, figurative and literal, my family will stick by me and see me through it.
My brother Kenny is a child. He may be in his thirties with a wife and three kids, but that doesn’t stop him from making ninja noises and using Tae Kwon Do moves on my sisters and me. My sister Andrea is the bossiest and the boldest. All of my siblings will tell you exactly what they’re thinking, but Andrea will do it the loudest. Because I couldn’t seem to get a read on her personality, my sister Heather used to intimidate me when I was younger. When I got older, I realized her dry tone and unimpressed expressions were sarcasm, which she wields skillfully. My sister Kelsey is only six years older than me, where the others are all at least ten years older, and she is the one I grew up beside. She may annoy me and drive me up the wall, but she will always be my favorite. Because she understands me in a way no one else does, I know she will always look out for me. The song “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran makes me think of every time the five of us are together. My siblings are all ridiculous, loud and wildly inappropriate, and it gets so much worse when they’re together, but like the song says, “these people raised me / and I can’t wait to go home” (44-45). Every time we’re all in a room together, the crazy is dialed to eleven, but so is the fun. When I’m with them, I laugh so much my breath comes in wheezing gasps (that might be from the asthma) and tears form at the corners of my eyes. My stomach hurts from clenching and my cheeks hurt from grinning, but it’s the best feeling in the world, and I impatiently await the day I get to go home and see them again.
The members of my family make up some of the most important parts of me. They are the reason I’m filled with both nostalgia and heartache anytime I think of my childhood. Remembering the times we spend together will always make me feel sentimental and wistful for a simpler time, when my life was hanging out in my sister’s room and running around in the rain. Every now and then I’m reminded of how I never want to forget those moments and what they mean to me, and I hope that throughout the hard times in life when I’m feeling stressed and uncertain I can look back and remember what really matters most.