What I have learned from my little sister

Published 9:43 am Thursday, June 11, 2015

Happy birthday, Tierney Michelle Murtaugh! My little sister turns 13 tomorrow. In honor of her birthday, I’m sharing 13 things I’ve learned from having a little sister.

1. How to share things. I’m definitely still learning on this one. As of recently, my sister and I now wear the same size clothes and shoes. I came home from work one night to see my sister wearing one of my favorite pairs of shorts, which took me by surprise. I told her I wanted them back and it took a good two weeks before I saw them back. Sharing is caring, but it’s taking some getting used to getting my closet and shoe stash raided.

2. It’s impossible to stay mad at her. When we were younger, we used to fight all the time. Now that we are older, we mostly just bicker over silly things here and there. But, no matter what we have a disagreement on, we aren’t mad at each other long.

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3. I’ve learned how to be a role model. I’ve always felt like I’ve been a stronger leader. I’ve been placed in many leadership roles throughout my school days. I think being an older sister has helped strengthen that.

4. I’m protective. This one has just come into play really in the last two years. In my years alive I’ve realized this: middle schoolers can be mean. Middle school is an awkward time in your life where you’re really figuring out who you are, puberty hits and all that fun stuff. Whenever I heard about someone picking on my sister I was sure to ask her about it. I also kept the scoop on her friends to make sure she was hanging out with good people, and I will probably continue to do that for the rest of her life.

5. Watching her grow up is an emotional thing. Tierney and I are six and a half years apart, so I really do remember every stage of her life so far. It’s weird seeing this tiny person grow from a baby to a beautiful young woman.

6. Patience. As the baby of the family, she usually gets things I didn’t when I was her age. This is getting some taking used to. Also, growing up and teaching her things has taken some patience, but I’m grateful for it.

7. I’ve learned to care about someone more than myself. I will put my sister before me. Always.

8. Spontaneous adventures are fun. Now that she’s older I’ve found myself asking her to come run errands with me, which usually involves something like late-night runs to the store. It’s always a fun time because we usually end up singing at the top of our lungs to the radio or something like that.

9. I really do miss her. I went on a vacation by myself to California a few weeks ago. Getting ready to come back, I realized how much I missed Tierney even if it was nice getting a little break from her.

10. I’ve learned how to defend myself. Tierney is a sassy little creature and I’ve learned she’s good at picking on me. But I’ve also learned how to dish it right back to her.

11. I know how to style hair and apply makeup on other people. I don’t know how many times I’ve given Tierney makeovers just for fun, or helped her get ready for some kind of event or another, but it’s definitely helped me sharpen my feminine skills.

12. Having a sister means having someone to share inside jokes with. My sister and I have come up with so many silly things that only the two of us would understand, and it’s the greatest thing.

13. She’s my best friend. Happy birthday, kiddo. I love you.


Erin Murtaugh is an undergraduate at Bemidji State University studying elementary education. She can be reached at murtaugh.erin@gmail.com.