Big family big responsibility

My large family makes me who I am, although it makes for a noisy house..

I dread when my mom calls my sisters and I downstairs and lists off all of the chores each of us has the pleasure of doing. I anxiously pray that I have a day off, but usually end up with the painful task of doing the dishes or gathering trash from every room. Chore charts and family meetings are just some of the many things that come with having a big family.

I have six siblings, which means I have a whole lot of love and support from my five older ones, Emma, Michael, Mary, Patrick and Charlotte, as well as my younger sister, Evelyn. Even though most of my siblings don’t live at home, we still have a 12 seater white van and vacant rooms around the house that await any school break when they come home. Now, I don’t want to give my mom’s very particular rules any credit, but the little everyday things that come with a big family are what make me into the person that I am.

First, it has made me mature. With my oldest sister being 30, and the rest falling just short of that, I’m always around people who are older than me, consequently helping me to grow. My mom has raised several kids before me, so she doesn’t get surprised when I complain about a rule. This taught me that missing a party or not being able to go to Disneyland every weekend isn’t the end of the world. I am more responsible and aware of what I need to get done. With six other kids to raise 24/7, my mom also doesn’t have time to make sure I do my homework every night.

My family always reminds me of how much I’m loved. I can turn to any one of my siblings, or my parents, and immediately feel supported. This is something that I am incredibly thankful for, as my mom would do anything to make sure that each of us kids know how valued we are to the entire family. Even though there are a lot of us, I have never once felt forgotten or left out, which speaks volumes. I know my siblings want the best for me, but sometimes it feels like I’m being overwhelmed by five parents rather than two. This love that I receive at home helps me to be a generous person at school or lend a hand with any activity I’m doing.

My family has also taught me how to be a good person. I see strong characteristics in each one of my family members that I try to emulate, like my brother Patrick’s amazing and quick sense of humor or my sister Charlotte’s genuine kindness in everything she does. I have six incredible role models that I am lucky enough to learn from every day and I take advantage of that.

Each of my siblings has helped me be the best version of myself simply by being themselves. Their legacy makes me want to continue in their footsteps, while true to my unique self. I love when a teacher realizes, “Oh you’re a Driscoll!” and a smile appears on their face because of it or when someone I don’t recognize tells me how much they adore one of my siblings.

Although I would probably have a lot more attention in a smaller family and a much cleaner house, I wouldn’t trade my big happy family for the world. I couldn’t be more thankful for each and every one of my family members and the tasks that come with having a big family. After all, I wouldn’t be me without the influence of each of my siblings and parents.