This week's Flashback Friday is all about families. I am the 8th child of 10 (6 girls, 4 boys); the youngest girl. There are 9 years between myself and the oldest; there are 4 years between myself and the older of my younger brothers. My parents' house has 6 bedrooms, so we all double-upped with the sleeping arrangements. The goal was to get to sleep downstairs, although by the time I was old enough to sleep down there, I was too much of a chicken to do it! Growing up was tough...everybody telling you what to do, jumping out of corners and hitting you (one brother in particular), and of course the incessantly being picked on. I consider the brother who bothered me the most one of my best friends. Our boys are very close in age, so we share that bond, too.
When we all get together, there's a lot of laughing and kidding around. All of us live in the area, except for the oldest and the youngest, who live in different states. Another sister lives a couple of hours away, but she's still in the same state...barely! I think we all get along pretty well. I do think that being the 8th child has shaped my ability to get along well with other people, no matter what their background. I don't like confrontations, and have a hard time telling people "no". My sisters & sisters-in-law are my absolute best friends. If I ever need anybody to talk to, they're the ones I go to. Blood is definitely thicker than water, and I know that they'll be there no matter what.
The only thing that one of my siblings did that I really wanted to do was being an exchange student...to Belgium. I wanted to live in a different country ever since I can remember. Well, my sister went, came back, and made some choices that my parents weren't crazy about (understatement of the year!), so that pretty much cut me out of being able to do anything like that. To this day, I'm still harboring a little bit of resentment about that.
I do think that the older kids were more independent than the youngest 4 of us, especially me. Maybe it was being the youngest girl, but I really didn't become that independent until I was in college. I was perfectly content to stay at home and not go running around, especially my senior year in high school. I was always afraid of getting in trouble, which may be because, with fewer kids at home, more attention would be on me.
It wasn't until my junior year in high school that I went to school alone. I was all by myself at the high school for my junior & senior years. It was hard to try to fill some of my sisters' shoes...I really didn't have to worry about filling my brothers'...they were both quite the handful! I don't think my younger brothers had any trouble filling mine. When I was in first grade, the nuns would threaten to tell one of my older siblings if I didn't behave; I really don't think they could have cared less what their bratty little sister was into this time!
When I was growing up I wished I had been born into a smaller family, but, looking back at all of the memories and the love that are there, I wouldn't have my life be any different than it was. Well, maybe being an exchange student would've been nice, but other than that...! (I know, I know...I really need to let that go!)
I'm off to see everybody else's response! Go link up at Mocha with Linda for Flashback Friday!