We have a special guest blog post today by Michelle Loftus, my baby sister, who makes me laugh and smile every single day.
I can honestly say that I am who I am because of my God-given situation: having three older sisters and being the baby in my family. I have experienced more first-place medals, birthdays, break ups, and graduations than any typical 24-year-old, because whatever my sisters experience, I experience. While I didn’t always have such an optimistic perspective on sharing in my sisters’ experiences (I mean who really wants to go from a soccer game, to a water polo match, back to a soccer game all on their 10th birthday?), at least I got to wear my cool, new, bright blue sunglasses for the events. I have realized that I am better because of everything my sisters have endured. My three older sisters are each a role model to me in their own, unique way. They are my trinity personified.
Every birthday and Christmas list from year five until the ripe age of 14, I would ask for the same thing: a baby brother or sister. God was really looking out for me by not giving me that, because I biasedly think that being the baby is the best position of the family! You have older siblings as guinea pigs for your parents to test out rules on. You pay attention to every detail and learn from it. For example, if I got put on time-out, I would just take a nap and make the most out of it. Being the baby has given me leverage to be the most [on purpose] annoying sister about how I’m my parent’s official “baby”. As much as it doesn’t seem like it, this is a big joke within our family, but I play the role well, enjoying all of the attention and perks that come with being the youngest of the family.
Being the baby of four girls, I quickly learned that life isn’t fair (arguably my dad’s favorite quote), no item of clothing is truly just mine, and that I need to speak loudly and extremely fast if I want to be heard. I learned how to handle criticism and grow tough skin. My sisters were right about a few things: braces were not my best accessory, bangs should never be placed on my forehead again, and zits will always be named and receive appropriate attention.
In later years I learned that whatever standard is set by an older sibling, will be the standard I want to reach. Each of my sisters set the bar higher than Everest. I learned hard work through watching their achievements: working numerous jobs until receiving a [well-deserved] full-time teaching job, embarking on an 18-month journey [alone] to work in Australia and fulfill her adventuresome spirit, and being offered a professional job [and being loved immensely by the coworkers] before graduating from a Masters program.
They’ve taught me how to love, how to get out of a love that wasn’t right, and how purely blissful life is once you’ve found your soul mate. I was typically the first responder for big relationship events, like the first kiss, crying sessions after big breakups and my favorite, many three-way date nights.
Above all, the concept that gets me through all my days (combined with faith which is another blog in itself) is that I know my three older sisters and parents will always love me unconditionally. This isn’t because of who I am, but because of the people they are; endlessly selfless, loving, and supportive. Being the baby has given me confidence to be my truest self whether that’s acting goofy, impatient, laughing uncontrollably intermixed with snorting [slap happy], doubtful, hyper, talkative, etc.. I know that my family will always accept me and welcome me with the biggest hugs and hearts.
Being the baby has given me and will continue to give me perspective, gratitude, and boundless love.