Currently, my role in the family is responsible adult (available in America).
Previously, my role in the family was "eldest child" coming with all of the stereotypical "eldest child" roles. I'm the mini-adult, bossy britches, overachieving leader of the pack. As told by my siblings now, I was an intimidating older sibling. I moved away at 16 to attend prestigious boarding school, leaving my siblings of 14, 12, and 10 behind. While there, I racked up some "Best Student of" and "Hall of Fame" awards which continued through college. My siblings' intimidation, however, was unwarranted because they are extremely intelligent and far more illustrious than I. Since we were separated for so long, I don't think we have the protector or initiator or instigator or peacemaker differentiation the way you may expect- much of that hits in adolescence which I missed. Though of the three, instigator, I may be.
Especially now that we're older and separated, we children are independent nations who keep good relations and sometimes convene as schedules allow. Does that sound cold? It shouldn't. It's because we're all so similar. So busy and active in our own lives and so much more enjoying of face-to-face communication than any of the artificial types, regular communication doesn't take up much of our day. A text here, a message there, we're good. It's the unspoken bond of not needing to talk, but everything easing perfectly into place when you do.
And now my Dad decided to quit his job and take up a new one working in the UAE. Ah yes, there it is, nine time zones away. My mother isn't there yet, but she will be soon. With them on the other side of the world, I am to resume the role of mini-adult and play the leader of the Ottenfeld household stateside. Aside from sorting out the situation to make me the legal equivalent of my parents, I'm not sure what will come of that role. As I said, my siblings and I are already independent. One in New Mexico, three in Tennessee, but none in the same city. It's not as if we get together often. Already for Christmas everyone has decided to disperse. Should I have pulled something together? Was that my responsibility to initiate? I don't know. We'll have to find out. Until then, I get everyone's mail and make sure the bills are paid and the insurance cards issued, ever the responsible older sibling shall I be.