To My Brother, My Undisputed Sidekick and Supporter.
Are there parts in life which you grow into proudly and that you would never relinquish?
You, that blonde-mopped cherubic boy who fell off your new bike from the fresh, sticky tarmacked path and grazed your precious forehead, whom I bundled home to concern. You avoided discipline about to be meted out to you because I intervened.
Those short-sighted headmasters made a grave mistake, in my young eyes, when they denied you access to those group of schools I belonged to. You must have known then I had your back.
To be a big sister is grand, but strangely underrepresented in media-speak or folklore. Society still holds firm that if the firstborn is a boy, the event is wildly more fortuitous than if it is a girl. Being a rule-maker, which the first child is, supposedly falls under masculine territory. But we should prize those girls who rebel first, take the emotional bruises, and learn bravely to stick up for themselves and others.
The big sister brigade turns into the strong and capable women of the future that this world so needs.
We read that female intelligence advances and drives society more than any single factor, but still we are bombarded by Orwellian big brother talk, and the politicians on the world stage like Angela Merkel are described as Mutti of Germany. Can we females be nothing more than a mother figure?
Sisters, aside from the collective for nurses, nuns or for feminism, are a guiding, forceful strength of femininity in a different guise. Perhaps misogyny tried to suppress the power and role of the big sister throughout time and it is right to reclaim this important title now in the 21st century?
For as our stern father has mellowed like his favourite bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, we both go to him, in our adult years, for his wisdom and conversation. And it is he who states, “My thinking is streets ahead of yours.”
But big sisters are fallible without the protection of an experienced brotherly shield. Facing my demons at a young age, alone, you, my brother recognize yours now as our paths, through profound life-choices, seem to be converging.
History repeats itself, as the mother of your children bears a girl first and then a boy. Responsibility is embedded in my niece. She is winning courage awards at school already. Being an aunt, I see something in both of your children that I wish to encourage. And you, my younger brother, allow me some influence over their upbringing and share the joy of watching the development of these beautiful children.
I cannot deny I wanted to turn you into my older brother at some points in my life. Confessionally, I may have imagined a big brother to a school pal to get me out of a situation. This looming enigmatic figure of an older male still dominates in my search for a life partner. As time passes, I am grateful I have looked after your well-being and appreciate the life skills I possess.
You support me now, in your own touching way from the sidelines, as I bat left field in the game of life. And I have a roar that alerts my tribe and warns off any who believes me to be a walkover. But you, my brother, will always be my undisputed sidekick and supporter. We battle on, as only sisters and brothers know how.
Keri France is a sensitive and strong soul, who believes in the power of creativity for personal growth. If you sometimes feel you have been on the brink of success, despair, sadness, Keri has been there too. She believes in creating opportunities for herself, being enriched by experiences, and writing down her thoughts on what she has learned in the process. With a voice-over demo, collection of her own artwork, and now writing, she knows a good life is a creative life.