“Who’s your favorite brother?”
As you might imagine, this was a question often posed to me, the tagalong little sister of the Gallo family. My brothers, Matt and John, eight and nine years older than me respectively, would often ask me in jest who I liked better. I never had a ready answer-unless one had bribed me with a piggyback ride. My brothers are polar opposites personality wise- J is more easygoing and laid back, while Matt is more witty remarks and introspective thinking. They shared some critical genes, however-such as athleticism (they both played two sports in high school), being math geniuses (something I unfortunately did not inherit), a love for Seinfeld, and both enjoyed beating me up-it’s not easy being the youngest. Sibling rivalry didn’t pass them by, and they were far from perfect brothers. Then again, I wasn’t a perfect sister. It wasn’t until they had both moved away to college that it dawned on me how much of an impact they actually made on me. They helped develop my love of sports, although I often got pissed off when they destroyed me in tetherball, or really any sport if they wanted to. They taught me how to stick up for myself, and they have tried their hardest with little progress-not for their lack of efforts, but my resistance- to help me learn as much as possible about college, jobs and the real world before I am shoved into it headfirst. Johnny has inspired me with his world travels to go out, see the world for myself, and have a good time; Matt, with his dedication to medical school and recent success on the MCAT’s, has made me really think about finding my passion in the professional world. They’ve given me memories I’ll keep forever, invaluable life lessons, and more than a few bruises and tears…probably well deserved.
These experiences have shaped me, for better or for worse, and I am thankful for it. John and Matt have made me laugh, cry, worry, and scream- but there is a lesson in each argument or casual conversation, even if the lesson is to shut up and listen. They’ve also made me think: “Who is my favorite brother?” Well, 15 years and I still don’t have an answer. While a piggyback ride might have decided it 10 years ago, I think I’ve matured enough to say I’ll never love one more than the other. Sure, we all annoy each other, but at the end of the day you really do love your brothers no matter what. In their own way, each one has taught me, protected me, and helped me grow; for that, I cannot ever express my gratitude fully- and even if I tried, they’d probably think I was being sarcastic. So no, I can’t just pick one brother. But all I know is when I ask them who their favorite little sister in the world is, they better answer pretty freaking fast.