I guess one could say that, as anything being the eldest has its pros & cons (Oh, how I hate that phrase, so cliche). But then again it does.
Being the eldest gives you the chance of loving, petting,
But along the ride, you also cry when they cry. Smile when they smile. Feel every pain they feel, only a hundred fold. Feel jubilant at their joy. Their success is your success. Their mistakes, yours.
When my little brother was born, I was six. I remember telling one of my grade one friends while waiting for the school van to pick us up after school that I have a new brother. Tiny as a teeny squiggly worm. But beautiful. My mother made me wash his baby poo napkins and I was only too happy to do so.
When he started preschool, I was ten years. Those were the days that he'd never let go of my hand. I used to go to his Montessori school with him, with him on my lap in the school van & watch him inside the classroom till school was over & bring him back home.
Where ever we went, he used to sit in my lap in the car. He used to fall asleep in my arms.
Until he grew up all gangly & tall I used to tidy up his school uniform shirt after he tucked into his uniform trousers in the morning.
I miss that.
I'm writing this because I remember how tiny he used to be. How he liked to be petted by me. I will have to do another post on my sister later.
Right now, I'm in agony. This is the pain of being the eldest. Did I make the right choices in my life so that my siblings can follow in my footsteps? Do I want them to follow in my footsteps or make their own path way? Have I done enough for them? Have I shown them the way?
My dad always used to tell me that you can only lead a horse to the water but you can't make it drink it. I wonder if I've led them properly. And what do I do with the compulsion I get to metaphorically speaking, to open the horse's mouth & pour the water in. (Drink you! This water is good for you.)
When I do something that think is right, or don't do something that I think is wrong, is it wrong for me to hope that they'll take me as an example and do as I do? And when they don't do as I do, how do I get them to see that my hopefulness is not a judgment. It's just hopefulness. If all they see is a big softie when they see me, maybe I haven't done my duty by them. Maybe I lack the kind of timbre that a good eldest need to inherently have.
I wonder if they know that every mark they miss, I bleed. That every stone they slip from (in the white waters that they need to gingerly find their way through) I fall down a million times. And wonder if I have failed. Wonder if my grip on their hands is strong enough.
Maybe the point of this post is that I miss those days. The days that my brother walked holding my hand. The days that my sister I rode bicycles around the village & climbed the trees in our garden.
Or maybe, I just want them to know that whatever they do, where ever they go, I'm still here. In my eyes they can never do or go wrong. (Maybe a little :) ) In my heart, they're still and always be my little brother & sister.
I can just see my brother rolling his eyes after reading this & my sister telling me not to make a big deal out of nothing. :)