I’m just going to come straight out and say it, growing up with a huge family is odd: The learning the different ways to hide the food you want to save for later (only to find the wrapper thrown about, a horrible crime scene), the hand-me-downs from 1997, the constant barrage of people coming in and out of your room.
It’s a lot.
I am Bronte and I am the 2nd oldest of 7 children, and not just 7 children, I am the 2nd born girl in a family filled to the brim with 5 boys.
It wasn’t always like this. I was born in the somewhat kind of small town of Peterborough, I had one older half sister and that was it. I can’t say for sure what it was like because brothers kept appearing after that like stinky little dandelions, but I can assume it was quiet. Then came along Sebastian, exactly 18 months after the light of my parent’s life (aka me) was brought into this world.
For a long, long, long time it was just me, my sister, and my not so little brother. It was a normal childhood full of fond memories, travelling back and forth from Toronto to Ottawa, and probably a few fights scattered in. But then came along Max, and then came along Noah, and then came along Oliver, and then finally came along Levi. And that was it, our hockey team was finally made, my parents dream finally came into fruition. I always knew growing up, that long gap between Max and Sebastian, my parents wanted a huge family, but I don’t think I was ever fully prepared for how different it is going to from 2 kids fighting over tickle-me-Elmo to 7 people fighting over what to watch on TV.
Being the 2nd oldest by many a year, I was obviously expected to help: to get my little brothers to and from school, to cut up sandwiches, to teach, to stand up to anyone giving them a hard time, to watch over them, to see them grow into distinct people with likes and dislikes and loves and hates.
And as weird as it is to see the mask of shock on someone’s face when they find out how many of us are running around, I wouldn’t change it for anything.
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