Life as the oldest child

Illustration by Darian Maroney

I think anyone who is the oldest child would agree with me that it can be very exhausting.

My parents expect the best from me. They expect me to be a good example for my younger sibling.

There was a lot of pressure.

When I was younger, I didn’t understand the impact I had on my younger brother’s life. But now that I’m older, I realize I do influence him.

It can be scary at times.

I’d like to believe that I’ve been setting a good example for him like my parents wished.

I try to be the good sister and help him out whenever I can.

But it’s hard to be the perfect role model. I’m a teen after all, and I make mistakes.

I wish my parents could understand that more.

They were hard on me growing up. If I did something to my brother, even if I was the one being provoked, I would be the one to get in trouble because “I knew better.”

My little brother would get away with so much that it was ridiculous.

All because he was “young and didn’t understand.”

Um — no.

I was “young and didn’t understand” at some point too, but I remember getting in trouble (the few times I did get in trouble because I was a good girl).

So why couldn’t they do the same to him?

It’s now that I realize I was the parenting training wheels. That’s what sucks about being the oldest.

They learn from their first kid and try to do better with their second one.

But even though it was hard being the oldest, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

I like that I’m paving the way for my brother. I like that I was like a second parent to him. I like that being the oldest, I got to sit in the front seat of the car.

But most of all, l love him.

He’s my little brother, and I would do anything in the world for him, even if he got me in trouble a lot.

Being the oldest isn’t so bad.

Daisy Dardon can be reached at [email protected] or @daisydardon on Twitter.