Each year, seniors at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School deliver a speech to their peers on a topic of their choosing in the Newhall Auditorium. Often equal parts clever and moving, emotional and personal, each speech offers a glimpse into the lives, experiences, struggles, and triumphs of SSM seniors.
Throughout the 2017-18 school year, we will share these speeches with the SSM community and hope that you enjoy the humor, wisdom, and powerful reflections conveyed by our senior students.
I am the oldest of four. I have a fifteen-year-old sister named Kenya, an eight-year-old sister Jazmin, and a six-year-old brother Tyson. Now, my sisters don’t really care for me all that much. Kenya ignores me. Jazmin hits me just because she knows I can’t do anything about it without dad inflicting some sort of pain on me. To them, I’m someone they can annoy just because. After the birth of my sister Jazmin I had given up on hope on having a little brother, so when I found out my mom was pregnant again I wasn’t exactly thrilled.
So when Tyson was born there was an instant connection that you cannot create –it’s was just there. Whatever I like, he likes. Whatever he likes, I MUST like. Whatever I do, he does. Whatever he does, I MUST do.
We’ve been like this since he was probably three or four when he could understand that I was his older brother.
When I’m home you can always find Tyson with me. Whether we’re playing soccer out in the backyard, watching soccer on the TV, taking naps on the couch, or messing with our sisters in their rooms, we’re always together. And the best part is as he’s gotten older our relationship has just continued to grow.
So when I left for Shattuck, it seemed almost harder on him than it was on me. He didn’t really understand where I was going, why I had to go, or how long I’d be gone. All he knew was that I was leaving and wouldn’t be back for a while. My mom and I decided it would be best not to tell him exactly where I was going or how long I would be gone for in hopes he wouldn’t notice too much.
A couple weeks after I got here, my mom told me Tyson had been crying, wondering why I wasn’t back yet. And that’s when I realized: I’m like a hero to Tyson. At first, I was pretty excited about it.
But then it came to me that he might actually want to follow in my footsteps, and that’s when it became real. I became less excited and more intimidated. I didn’t want to be the reason for him making the wrong choices because I had made the same ones in the past. I had to get my act together; start to become a good example that he could follow. There would be no more arguing with dad. No more play fighting with mom in the kitchen… well that still happens, but overall no more being stupid just because I could. I had to grow up some.
More recently, it hit me that not only was I his hero, but he was also mine in a way. He would be looking up to me, but I would also be looking up to him. I would be looking up to the version of him I want to see when he’s 18 or 23 or however old I’ll be at the time. I will always strive to be the person I want him to grow up to be.
I know this means I’ll never have a hero my own age, but that’s not what its about for me anymore. I want him to someday surpass me and become a hero of his own. And the day he does that, my work will be done. He’ll have grown into the best person he can be.
In the end; through Tyson I’ve learned a lot he doesn’t understand yet, and as he and the rest of my siblings are growing up I want to be able to teach them through what I’ve learned from them and what I’ve learned from my mistakes.
Kenya, Jazmin, Tyson there are two types of people in this world - those who are amazed, and those who are amazing. I already know which ones you are.