Recently, I've been ruminating over what it means to be a big sister. Between my younger brother and my younger cousin, there often seems to be a pressure to behave responsibly, to set an example, to engage the younger ones while still somehow maintaining a level-headed calm. Sometimes, that just seems impossible. Thien To’s reflection in ‘Space for a Big Sister’, echoes the challenge that comes with being an older sibling. Her answer to the question of how to stay sane lies in a room that she calls her ‘sanctuary’. However, even this room isn't exempt from trespassers.
With the sanctity of this place being threatened by other family members, To takes a new look at what it means to be an older sister.
The strongest part of this piece is To’s emotive delivery and the way she presents her story with light hearted humor. There are some segments that are hard to understand in terms of delivery. While To provides a good outline of her story and the conflict in it, I still find myself wanting more details. What did she do in this room that she considered her sanctuary?
This would be a great piece suited for programming themed around family, sibling relationships, and perhaps even challenges faced by teenagers.
For me the takeaway of this piece wasn't so much what was said as what wasn't said. “Space for a Big Sister” not only allows insight into how another person deals with their sibling relationships, but also pushed me (as the listener) to reexamine my own role as an older sibling.
Learn more about Philly Youth Radio