Growing up with one younger sister, I often wondered what it would be like to have an older sibling. Someone who would look out for me and set the example. As my sister and I grew older, we became good friends and our birth order didn’t really matter much any more – we now look out for each other and, for different reasons and in different ways, we are each other’s example.
Still, from time to time, I find myself wishing that I had a big brother – someone, other than my parents, who I know I can turn to for protection or guidance, someone who I can trust is always watching out for me. No matter how old we get, it is nice to have someone like that in our life.
(I don’t know if he knows this, but) for a long time after my sister got married, I referred to her husband as “my sister’s husband.” It wasn’t really an intentional choice of words; it was just what made sense and seemed to fit the most. He was a part of my life through my sister. She was the thing we had in common, the person that connected us.
Somewhere along the way, however, a shift happened. Maybe it was spending so many family holidays together year after year. Maybe it was the birth of my nephews that brought all of us a little closer. I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but I stopped referring to him as “my sister’s husband” and he became “my brother-in-law.”
This past weekend I found myself seeking guidance and needing to consult with someone whom I could trust. I needed someone who was rational and logical, but who could also be compassionate and sympathetic. I needed someone who cared more than a friend, and someone who wasn’t lecturing me like a parent. My brother-in-law came through for me, and then some.
So today, I am very thankful for my big brother(-in-law).
The Jersey Girl