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Photo ofWalker Peterson
This is my story on the way my siblings being away from home for so long has changed the way we interact with each other regularly. For the past sixteen years, my siblings and I have been known to fight with each other. Over the years, our time together has slowly evolved into a more mature relationship. Now more than ever, our relationship has substantially changed as we've grown closer together because of our time so far apart. It is as if our time separated has made our times together more joyful than ever.

Before my siblings went to college, we never saw the benefits of being around each other. We were all too young to realize the time we had together was precious. We disliked being around each other and it took the fun out of certain activities and trips not only for us, but also others such as our parents and grandparents. I think there are a couple of events that precisely demonstrate the sibling rivalry and arguments we have. One event, in particular, is when my grandfather took my older sister and me fly fishing together. We tended to ruin the moment because we would always fight over things like who had the bigger fish instead of appreciating the larger picture such as the spectacular scenery we were experiencing while fishing for the vibrant rainbow trout in some of the most beautiful streams in Virginia.

When both sisters finally left the house, I realized how miserable it can be not having any entertainment from siblings. We went on a spectacular road trip out west this summer where we were all squished together in the car. I realized that happiness is contagious and the way we treat each other has a huge impact on the way we get along with each other in the car. Having siblings around you makes it way more enjoyable at home because of all of the contagious laughter brought into our house. Our time spent together is euphoric and filled with so much fun.

I want to change because I don’t want to be remembered by my sisters as that little annoying brother. I don’t want my grandparents to endure us arguing and I would prefer everyone to see us as calm cool-headed individuals who love each other. Now that my oldest sister has been away for four years, and my middle sister has been away for a whole semester, it makes me realize the importance of having strong, wholehearted relationships with your siblings.

On another note, the time I get to spend with my siblings now is time I will not have in five, even ten, years down the road. I will not have the luxury of living in the same household with them anymore and we will continually grow farther and farther apart. It is sad to think about, but I have learned that it is best not to dwell on these situations and make the most out of the time I still have around my siblings. I hope someday my siblings and I look back on the time we spent together as children and we can all reflect on this and use it to help our own children get along with their siblings. Growing up with siblings is a privilege and I am truly grateful for the opportunities we have together. I have learned that relationships with siblings should be lasting and filled with new experiences. They shouldn’t be filled with arguing but instead with love for each other. 

© Walker Peterson. 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.