My Four Brothers and I

My parents split when I was younger. I was my fathers only child, now I have four brothers, three younger brothers  on my dad's side, and one older brother on my mom's side. Growing up being the only girl was always fun and helped me become stronger. Technically, all my siblings are my half brothers but I consider them my brothers.

In fifth grade my favorite project that I had to do was make a collage of the things that were important to me. On my project I had pictures of things like my phone, my clothes, my friends and my family. When the project was due we had to present to the class what was on our board and why. Presenting was really easy  because I knew why I put everything on the board, the part that felt funny was when people came up to me and asked questions and pointed. I got asked the same question at least 5 times by different people. Most people asked me are they really your brothers which I found interesting because I thought I made it pretty clear that they were my brothers when I presented. I got specific questions about every single brother. My older brother Samad has green eyes and sandy brown hair, so everyone assumed he had albinism. Samad looks nothing like me and I heard that forever but it wasn't something I really cared about.

After my classmates wrapped their fifth grade minds around the fact that Samad did not have to look anything like me to be related, they questioned my first little brother. It seemed as if they totally forgot the previous twenty minutes before because it was exactly the same discussion except they thought they had a solid reason on why we could not be related. Tristen was my first little brother we shared a dad. People questioned me because they assumed Tristen was white. Back in fifth grade having to explain to my friends that Tristen’s mom was white and our dad is black seemed like too much to do but, as I got older it became something like an uniform when I spoke on all of my brothers. I distinctly remember many of my peers saying “That can't be your brother he’s white.” When people said that to me it made me question what him being white had anything to do with being related to me. How could someone who had not even knew where I was from tell me who I couldn't be related to because of their skin color.

Now that fifth grade had come and gone I can look back on the project and reflect. Ignorance is what was shown but solely because they didn't know any better. For a while I didn't want to share with people my family because I felt as though answering questions about why me and my brothers didn't look alike was not something I wanted to do. As much as I love my brothers I knew people were not going to accept my family. Being older and learning new life lessons I now understand that what people think of my family doesn't matter as long as my family and I love each other that the most important thing I must remember. Even today when I tell people they have this big idea that your family members are supposed to look like you or have to have the same race as you. Family can come in all shapes, sizes, and colors so why try to categorize or make a uniform on what a family is supposed be like or look like. Race is something made up by people to separate everyone, but I know skin color will not separate my family it will bring us closer.

Comments (4)

Valerie Berta (Student 2020)
Valerie Berta

It kind of sucks to have to explain that your siblings are actually your siblings, and I can relate. Me and my siblings have the same mother, but our fathers have not really been present. I was able to learn that you have other siblings because you looked like an only child to me, and I really like the way you put your story, kind of based around your brothers.

Monie Duong (Student 2020)
Monie Duong

It's clear that your brothers mean a lot to you and that looks doesn't matter. It's cute how even as a fifth grader, you stood up for what you believed in and didn't let anyone change how you felt. I liked how detailed you were with describing your brothers and how much they meant to you. I also love your conclusion because you state how skin color will not separate your family, it will only bring you guys together.

Briannie Matos (Student 2020)
Briannie Matos

I like how you didn't let the kids in fifth grade question your family. I totally agree about how families come in all shapes and sizes because they do. I really felt how you felt in your reflection and I think it's pretty cool you have this to always look back too.