My Younger Sister Handles the ‘Big Sister’ Role. And I’m OK With That.


I’m a huge “Frozen” fan. I mean, really, who isn’t? Anyways, back to the point of this article: sisterly love.

It’s magical and one of a kind. My sister and I are two years and two months apart. I was born first. So in chronological terms, this means I’m older than her. I’m supposed to play the older sister role, and she’s supposed to play the younger sister. This isn’t how it always works in our family.

You see, I have autism. My sister reached some developmental milestones before me. In so many ways, she’s my big sister, even though she’s younger than me. I look up to her with all my heart; she’s truly the greatest sister a girl could have.

JandI I know being my sister isn’t always an easy task. My sister was sometimes a 10-year-old girl left wondering why her 12-year-old sister won’t play makeup or let her paint my nails. She was a little girl trying to cope with and accept with the fact that her older sister sometimes seemed to be more engaged while playing a computer game. But, when I did play with her, it was glorious and fun. We played a game we called “babies” with our American Girl Dolls. The sky was the limit, and our imaginations went wild. Playing “babies” is one of my favorite childhood memories because when we played that game together, we just were two little girls playing with dolls, two sisters playing with dolls, two sisters having fun.

My sister loves me, no matter what. Through all the tears, meltdowns and screaming and rough days over the years, she’s loved me with all her heart, just as much as I love her. Through all the many times I’ve embarrassed her (because it’s inevitable), she’s some how learned to forgive me and put a smile on her face and move on.

As my sister neared finishing high school, and I was still in school, it all started to go full circle in my head. Her being my older sister was becoming even more of a reality. She has a boyfriend; I don’t. She started college — before me. In my mind, I felt like I was supposed to be doing these things first. I was supposed to be trailblazing the way for her and showing her the ropes. I was supposed to be helping her get ready for prom, not the other way around. I was supposed to be doing her hair, instead of her doing mine over and over again. She does this all for me.

I’ve come to realize, it’s OK. Really, it’s OK. Our relationship is our normal. We both love each other just the way we are. We both teach each other in so many ways. Even though I didn’t teach my sister about boys, driving or makeup, I taught her some important things about life, including acceptance, and patience.

Thank you to my sister for being such a great sister and loving me unconditionally. I love you to the moon and back.

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