Roundhouse Rivalry

Youngest of Five Siblings Gets Real


Posing at the bottom of our staircase, I smile at the camera in late June of 2010 as Harrison decides that the first step of the stairs is a good place for beauty sleep. Here I was four and Harrison was five years old, and the red stuff on our faces was some ribs that we had just eaten. Well, more like smeared on our faces. (Photo Courtesy of Shirley Williams)

Heidi Williams, Reporter

Almost every day there is something new to fight about with my siblings. Though two out of my four siblings aren’t around the house anymore, our family group chat never seems to disappoint when it comes to arguing about the most obnoxious topics. 

Starting long before I was born, Hunter, Hailey, Hayden and Harrison, my siblings, were playing a  ‘game’ that every sibling plays. Some mornings they would never want to talk to each other again, and others they’re wondering if anyone’s down to play with each other. Once I was born, I was ready to help my lone sister in the battle with my three brothers.

Growing up, I was just a mini version of my older sister, Hailey. Any clothes she would wear, I would have to try on. Any new hairstyle, I would have to copy her. Our parents were just watching Hailey 2.0 grow up. We got along great, until the Christmas we received a ‘Wii.’ Between all of us kids fighting for the “good remote,” or who was the better dancer in Just Dance (it’s still me), our parents would watch in terror as they came to terms that this would be their new life. Everything was a hassle for my parents. They even had trouble breaking up the most random arguments because whenever they took one sibling’s side, another sibling would jump in, calling out favoritism.

When my oldest sibling Hunter graduated high school and went to West Point for college, I felt a shift in our sibling dynamic. Watching Hunter go into the Army somehow changed the way I looked at my brothers and sister. Though I’d known he’d wanted to go into the Army, always running around the house shooting me and my other siblings with his airsoft guns, I never really believed he would pursue his dream. He was just the one who rode the dirt bike into the pool, and pulled stunts left and right to create some fun for us all. Before Hunter left, I noticed I was spending more time with my brothers and was constantly bugging my sister with them. But, while doing so, I noticed how easily it was to get frustrated with my brothers. 

The way they would do any small task started to annoy me little by little. Listening to them chew with their mouths open, blare their loud music, and the way they would instigate constantly (instigating is Harrison’s thing, but I’m not trying to be too mean). I found myself in a constant loop hanging with my brothers, then back to my sister. She was with her boyfriend constantly and didn’t want her little sister bugging her. I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I drifted toward spending more time with my brothers. Luckily, Harrison and Hayden were fine with me joining in on their crazy adventures. Figuring out ways to bribe our parents into getting stuff for us and causing mischief around the house on boring days showed me that I could have a good time with my brothers and not argue constantly.

Moving here to Texas from California in late 2019 really pulled my siblings together. With Hailey out of the house and going to college in Reno, Nevada, I was the only sister to my brothers. We started to explore our new town together and make some pretty good memories. Whether that included terrorizing our neighbors when we would ride up and down the streets on our dirt bikes, or spending a majority of our time at the lake and watching each other become masters on the raft and wakeboard (we obviously know who’s the best. It’s me), we were having fun. My brothers and I weren’t constantly fighting over who got aux or who used all the hot water in the shower. We were having great times and I never really knew that we could all get along so well.

Then all of our lives got pretty busy. I started playing lacrosse and working, Harrison was continuing football, and Hayden graduated high school and started working at the local country club restaurant. Harrison would drive me home from school every day, though, and that was always interesting. Whenever he would be a little late to get to the car after the last bell rang, that meant he was grumpy. I’d stay silent to avoid any conflict, but would secretly be texting my mom about Harrison’s attitude. On his good days, though, we’d always talk to each other about our days and pretend like the grumpy days before had never happened. These alternating days were pretty normal at that point, until Harrison cut off his exhaust to his civic and became known all around school for being the kid with the loud engine. Teachers and friends constantly come up to me talking about Harrison and his loud car. I got old of it pretty quickly.

Good and bad came with this new change. He was willing to take me to some car meets after work, and he taught me most of what I know about cars and how to install certain modifications on them. Seeing Harrison get so happy about new parts coming in or just the loudness of his car in general was heartwarming. Deep down, secretly having people talk to me about him and then having to relay these messages back to Harrison is always a fun time. His reactions every time I told him someone said he car was too loud were sort of a ‘who cares.’ I love that side of him, because what he was doing made him happy, and he didn’t care what anyone thought. Besides, most everyone knows insulting a car-guy’s car never ends well. 

Even though I now have my drivers license and ride my motorcycle to school, rarely interacting with them, I’ll never forget the ups and downs throughout my childhood with them all. To my siblings, I love you guys. Just most of the time, I don’t particularly like you.

P.S. Harrison, you’re adopted.