For most of her childhood, the American girl didn’t realize that her older sister was different, but when she did, she took over her duties. This didn’t get in the way of the girls’ friendship, though, because their relationship only got stronger after the kids told on them.
A person from the US told the hosts of the Humans of New York project about her special older sister, whose role she had to play for a short time. When the woman thought back to her childhood, she said that she had never noticed anything strange about her relative because the girls always hung out together and there were no problems.
The younger sister didn’t realize that the older one had a problem. But when I found out the truth, we switched places.
Only Tracy’s parents were less likely to punish her when she did something wrong. Things might have gone on like this if the neighbor boy hadn’t called the older girl “brake” one day.
Nat ran home to ask her dad what he meant because she didn’t get it. Then, the girl’s dad told her that her sister had Down syndrome. From that point on, the woman says, both of their lives changed a lot.
The older sister had to act as the storyteller.
As the woman grew up, she realized that people treated her and her sister differently, even though she didn’t think they were different. Nat’s sister was never invited to sleepovers, but Nat was. The same thing happened at the prom. The oldest girl wasn’t invited, but Nat and her parents bought her a dress and took her to the event anyway.
When Tracy was 21, she was let out of school. After that, she started having real problems. The girl didn’t know what to do because there were no programs for people with Down syndrome. Maybe if things had been different, she would have had the same kind of life as another famous American.
Her younger sister says that Tracy often said she wished she looked more like Nat. She cried when she left for college, and even though she was a bridesmaid at a relative’s wedding, it wasn’t a good time for her. The storyteller makes it clear that the older sister did not feel jealous of her. Tracy was worried because she just wanted to live a normal life.
When Nat had kids, the whole family was happy, but Tracy was especially happy because she now had new friends to play with.
I was happy to see that she was their best friend, just like she had been mine. I always say that we brought them up as a family. She loved my kids more than any other mother ever could.
Nat also says that both she and the kids learned a lot from Tracey. For example, respecting people who are different from the rest.
At the end of her story, the woman talks about the day their father died in 2018. Nat says that the death of the family head was hard for everyone, but especially for her older sister. After the ceremony, a woman went up to Tracy to show her support.