Relationships

Cheers to you, Big Brother.

Written by Katherine Kring

Being a middle child is not always ideal. We are known for being the peace makers, the calm child.  Heck, some may even venture to call us the “perfect one,”  but let’s now get ahead of ourselves here. All praise aside, it’s a rough world out there for middle children. Most of our strife is due to younger siblings that always rival us for attention. They come along out of nowhere, when life seems to be going fine, and suddenly mom and dad have to stop playing with you to do ridiculous things like feed the baby or change its diaper.  However, when I really think about it, there may be a situation far worse than being the middle kid.    

The oldest kid.    

Man, do they get the shaft or what?! The older siblings are always referred to as the guinea pigs. They’re the kid that the parents have no clue what to do yet, so they read every book and try every form of parenting under the sun, until they figure out what actually works [around kid number 3].

Because of the remorse I felt/feel for my older sibling, I decided to write him this giant thank you.

So here’s to you, big brother.

Thank you for being my first friend. We had some good times, just the two of us, before little sister showed up and rocked our worlds. Mom and dad would set me down next to you on the couch and force you to play with me, read to me, and sometimes even take naps with me. But let’s call a spade a spade – you had no other real friends yet (you were 4) so you’re welcome for the company I provided.

As we romped right into toddler-hood, thank you for showing me the proper way to sing and dance to a chipmunks Christmas CD on the fireplace hearth. I’m sure those choreographed dances will still come in handy someday. And don’t worry if you forgot them, mom and dad have it all on home videos. I still don’t understand why I had to ALWAYS be the backup singer.  Anyway, not holding a grudge. If it wasn’t for you I would’ve had no clue how to tie my blankie around my neck like a cape. What a timeless life lesson. 

As previously mentioned, life became pretty hard when little sister showed up and wouldn’t stop crying for two years straight.  Thanks for entertaining me with your awesome jump/kick karate combo moves while mom and dad took care of her. (Side note: You really should’ve stuck with karate.)

Now as the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end” and our days of playing together in the house quickly vanished as the years rolled by. Before we knew it, you were a big, bad high schooler and I was your nerdy little Jr. high sister. Even though I didn’t like it then, I can now say I appreciate the time you told me not to wear that white mini jean skirt to school. You could’ve, perhaps, said it a little more gently, but message received, big brother. And remember how I used to “get mad” that everyone referred to me as “so & so’s little sister” …well truth be told, I kinda loved it. I always felt pretty cool being related to you. (Don’t let that go to your head.)

 Unfortunately, time kept flying by and you eventually entered your final year of high school, while I became just a tiny freshman. I suppose I should thank you for threatening to beat up any boy that played with my heart. However, I don’t think anyone was actually afraid of you, but I sure cherish the act.

And as much as I hate to admit this, due to the fact that I was horrible at sports, I loved having an older brother that crushed it on the football field. That homecoming Friday where you let me wear your jersey (instead of some girl in your class) will always be one of my favorite memories. It never grew old cheering you on from the stands. Though, you did give me several mini heart attacks when you’d get hit a little too hard and didn’t bounce right back up. It took everything in me (and mom) to not run down onto the field and embarrass you completely.

Since we’re talking about school activities, thanks for coming to my plays, recitals, show choir performances, and speech meets. I know it wasn’t your thing and watching people sing for three hours isn’t anyone’s ideal Friday night, but the gesture made me feel so important and loved.

After graduation, some siblings drift apart and seemingly don’t talk as often. But thankfully, not us. I felt like the luckiest little sister when you took me to my first college party. Oh no, secrets out now! (I was 18 and a senior, everyone. Calm down.) You showed me around your campus and made me so incredibly excited for college.  I remember you telling me one night, when I was visiting you, that I would make the greatest friends and have the greatest times. You were right.

But above all else, and most importantly, thank you, big brother, for being my constant support system. You had my back through my teenage/drama years, when every girl thinks she knows it all, to my rebellious college years, which actually weren’t that rebellious, and now all the way to my twenty-something/married years, where you’ve given me advice on owning a home, paying bills, making a resume and other adult-type things they should really teach you in high school.

 My hope is someday, when I have children, my middle child will have an amazing older sibling, just like you.

(p.s. my apologies to our younger sister for not having a thank you letter of her own. All in due time, little one, all in due time.)

(p.p.s. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ONE DAY LATE)

About the author

Katherine Kring

My name is Katherine Kring, although most people call me Kaile. You can blame my parents for the confusing two name situation. I was born in Lincoln, NE and raised in Minden, a small farming community in central Nebraska. I have adorably, in love parents and two siblings, one older brother and one younger sister.

Growing up it was apparent that I was kind of the odd man out. Both of my siblings are very blonde, athletic and competitive…and then there’s me. I enjoy singing, theater, speech, writing, and reading. And unfortunately, do not have blonde hair.

After high school, I ventured off to the big city of Omaha, NE where my, then boyfriend, was stationed with the Airforce (He is now my Airforce husband and I have since followed him to Ohio.) I attended Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health in Omaha and pursued a career in Respiratory Care. I now get to have the initials RRT after my name because I am officially a Registered Respiratory Therapist.

My hubby and I live in Ohio with our two crazy, hyper dogs. We love to binge watch netflix, go antiquing, and travel. I also love my Lord, Jesus Christ and enjoy attending our church and reading my bible.