Growing up with two older sisters was interesting. We all had such different personalities, passions and paths in which we wanted to pursue.
I recall the three of us being fiercely independent and to some degree competitive. I immersed myself into sport at a very young age and couldn’t understand why my sisters didn’t show the same enthusiasm as me. They probably wondered the same thing about me.
I often wonder whether our vastly different views, opinions and interests played a part in the relationship in which we have today.
When mum fell pregnant with number four, the whole neighbourhood was surprised. There are three years difference between each of the girls and six years between my brother and I (I’m the youngest girl).
My dad is a proud Italian so you can imagine his excitement when his first boy was born. I remember him driving up and down the street in his old Holden beeping his horn like a crazy man.
None of the neighbours were surprised by this behaviour. That type of stuff was stock standard when it came to dad.
When mum came home from the hospital with our baby brother, I remember feeling somewhat intimidated. I was no longer the baby in the house. We had begged for ducted heating for years and finally got it the week my brother came home.
As kids, we learnt a lot about independence, resilience and how to create our own fun. We had to. Mum ran a successful dressmaking business from home and she was always busy.
My brother and I formed a close bond in our early years and this continued into our teens and adulthood.A moment that I will never forget was when he gave me away at my wedding last year.
Like any friendship though, it’s not always smooth sailing. When I was 16 and finally old enough to go down to the local ice skating rink without a parent, I was forced to take my brother. He was 10. He loved hanging out with his older sister. Cute I know.
I, however, felt like I had an annoying ankle biter hanging off me all the time. I was at the age where I was starting to meet boys and the last thing I wanted was my little brother following me around everywhere.
Mum’s words still ring in my ears today, “Take your brother with you please”. I didn’t really have much of a choice.
I am thankful to mum for that because I honestly believe that the time that we spent together over the years has shaped the tight friendship that we share today.
One Saturday afternoon, when we arrived at the ice-skating rink, I put his skates on and instructed him to skate until I told him to stop.
The poor kid idolised me and did whatever I asked of him. Three hours later, I had forgotten about him. When I told him that we were going home, he was riddled with blisters all over his feet. I still fell bad about that today.These days the tables have turned. I idolise him. My baby brother is 34 next month and I couldn’t be prouder of this inspiring human being.
You know those people that everyone looks up to? Everyone aspires to be like? Everyone adores for their compassionate, selfless, passionate, caring, generous, hard – working, honest qualities? That’s my brother.
Everything he does, he does with such gusto. This is undoubtedly the reason why he has enjoyed such a successful marketing career over the years.
A few weeks ago, he announced to the family that he had been offered an incredible position in the Nordic region, managing marketing initiatives across 4 countries. He will be based in Norway for the next 3 years with Specsavers, his current employer.
My heart sank then rose back up again. I was sad at the thought of having to say good bye to someone I am so close to, someone who knows absolutely everything there is to know about me, someone who I turn to when I need an honest opinion, some genuine feedback or some fashion advice.
Someone who makes me laugh when I’m feeling down and is there for me at the drop of a hat. Then I remembered about Skype – thank god for technology.
At the same time I was ecstatic to see that all of my little brother’s hard work and commitment had payed off, his amazing talents recognised and his loyalty rewarded.
So, so proud of you!
I’m going to miss you Jules. I know that you will take this opportunity by the “coolyonis” and absolutely nail it.
Looking forward to watching you shine darling.
Are you close with your siblings? Do any of them inspire you as much as my brother does me?