We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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Photo ofRudy Maravilla

The birth of my younger brother shifted my perspective of the world for the better. I lived 15 years of my life as an only child. After all those years, I became someone’s big brother, a role I have learned to cherish.

Growing up I was always the only child. I always thought only about myself and what would benefit me. I never really thought about others. It was unintended selfishness developed from loneliness. I was always playing by myself alone in my backyard. I used to spend most of my time outside by myself just kicking the ball at my garage door since I had nobody else to play with. It got to the point where I would look for rocks by myself in my garden and I would collect all the rare ones I would find. I would always see other kids playing with their siblings and I thought they were lucky because they would always have somebody to play outside with and do fun activities with each other. When my little brother was born, my whole viewpoint shifted. I felt like it was my responsibility as a big brother to guide him, to be his idol, and to be someone he could turn to if he needed help. I wanted to put him and my family before me. When I first held my 7lb baby brother in my arms, my heart began to beat rapidly. My hands and my whole body began to shake. I had never known the feeling of holding a baby before. 

My role in my baby brother’s life is to always be there for him through the good and bad times. I felt like I needed to play this role because I’m his only sibling and I don’t want him to go through what I did. Which was always being alone and having nobody by my side growing up. He is the only sibling I have so I need to put all my attention towards him because having a sibling truly holds a big place in your heart especially if you never had a sibling before. He will always be that baby that I held in my arms for the first time.

© Rudy Maravilla. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.