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The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

I reminisce about my childhood growing up with my baby sister

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN
Carlos Torres
The Torres sisters, Julia and Gabriela smile together with their dog, Candy, on the road on a sunny day on Oct. 26.

The dark ceiling stared back up at me. The blanket and the pillows from the sofa bed were different from the ones from my own bed, and the mattress had a spring that was digging into my back. My aunt was laying a couple of inches away from me, deep asleep. But my five year old brain could not seem to find that sweet release of sleep. 

Julia embraces her younger sister Gabriela after one of their schools events in 2013. The two sisters hug on the sidewalk wearing their matching blue shirts. (Carlos Torres)

After all, it was not every day that my parents would be introducing me to my new baby sister. I had been waiting for months, curious about what exactly it meant to bring a new baby into the house. 

The next morning, I finally reunited with my parents in the hospital after what seemed like an eternity of not seeing them. And hours later, I was staring at a tiny pink bundle through the glass of the NICU.

Growing up with only one sibling with a significant age difference was not all sunshine and rainbows. There have been tears and screams and hair pulling. Arguments that lasted for days on end, only to be resolved with a bag of Hot Cheetos and a Disney movie marathon with all the lights off and the curtains closed. 

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I would usually be kept up all night, my sister’s crying echoing around the room, not letting anyone in the house get any rest. 

But as the years have gone by and I have watched my baby sister grow into a strong, funny and smart young woman, ready to head to her first year of high school, I can’t help but want to turn back time to those days of arguments over Barbies and which movie to watch to kick off our marathon.

Julia Torres and her younger sister, Gabriela Torres pose with wide smiles after a school event in 2013 in Santa Barbara, Calif. (Carlos Torres)

I want to go back to those nights where I would want to rip my hair out when her crying would not stop and my parents had to be up at 3 a.m. trying to soothe her back to sleep. 

We have been through thick and thin together, and ironically enough, the family problems that would have pulled us apart, only brought us closer together. Now, we are no longer children. 

I used to have an annoying little sister who would want to copy my every move and follow me around like a lost puppy, now I have a best friend who matches my every joke and snarky comment with one of her own. She has turned into the one person I feel like I can confide in, to rant about everything and anything. 

I usually find myself staring at the dark ceiling again, long after everyone else has gone to sleep. Only this time, I have my baby sister laying right next to me, as she is holding in her laugh after we stay up gossiping and talking hours after we were supposed to go to bed. My now 19-year-old brain also can’t seem to get much sleep, but this time I realize I really don’t care as much anymore. 

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