Take Off

I wonder why I keep having dreams where I have loads of siblings?
After all, in real life I only have one younger sister.

Being part of a big family isn’t easy, especially when you are one of eight children. But what’s really crazy is the fact that I’m the only ordinary one while my seven siblings are all uniquely gifted geniuses. Before you get the wrong idea, this isn’t a sob story about me trying to live up to expectations or being intimidated by the success of my siblings. Infact, it’s the complete opposite.

Let me start by introducing myself and my siblings. So, my name is Milo and I’m 23 years old. I’m the second oldest and most down-to-earth person in my family. What a great choice of words considering the theme of this story. 

Prim is two years older than me. She was recognised as a genius before she could even pronounce the word properly. Growing up she was always covered in mud, she was fascinated by nature. While other girls her age were playing with dolls and painting their faces with their mother’s make-up, Prim explored as much of the world as she could, which was basically our back garden. She picked up and played with insects and dead animals like it was normal. She read university science books like they were story books. You probably guessed already but she didn’t have many girlfriends as a kid or teenager. Now though, Prim is a world renowned geologist and biologist. For the last few years she has been working on tackling climate change. Being part of a big family isn’t easy, especially when you are one of eight children. But what’s really crazy is the fact that I’m the only ordinary one while my seven siblings are all uniquely gifted geniuses. Before you get the wrong idea, this isn’t a sob story about me trying to live up to expectations or being intimidated by the success of my siblings. Infact, it’s the complete opposite.

When I was four, my younger brother Adwin was born. We have no idea where he got his artistic creativity from. He was only a few months old when his overactive imagination awakened. You have no idea how much of a handful he was as a toddler; constantly wandering off, using his sticky fingers to gather all kinds of art supplies be it food, paint, toothpaste. Adwin is the messiest and most aloof of all my siblings. 

Ivan was born a year after Adwin. A brainiac with a photographic memory he is the embodiment of the word genius. His big green eyes were full of curiosity as a child. Unlike Prim and Albus, Ivan is the quiet type. Instead of exploring the outdoors or expressing his creativity, Ivan is a bookworm. He was already solving university equations with ease at six years-old. The mathematical language is the love of his life. He’s never had much interest in material, Quenching his thirst for knowledge is his way of having fun. 

The twins Danni and Albus were born 4 years after Ivan. Danni, Albus and Ivan grew up together and still close as teenagers. They use their similar talents and interests to invent all kinds of contraptions. I can’t even tell you how many close calls we had at home. One time, they almost blew up the kitchen. Danni is an amazing inventor, constantly coming up with new ideas. She is a great problem solver. Her eyes sparkle whenever a new idea pops into her head. You can almost see a lightbulb shining above her!

While Danni used her head, Albus used his hands. He was a builder, an engineer but mainly a tinker. As a child he constructed the most eccentric and elaborate lego creations. He was always fiddling with bits and bobs. I can’t recall the last time I saw him without a toolbelt or greasy clothes. 

Cecil may be 11 years old but she already has here eyes set on the stars.
She is clever and confident with plans to be a world famous astronomer/ astrophysicist in the near future. She already looks the part wearing an oversized white lab coat everyday. Gazing at the night sky and studying the wonders of space is what saved her when she suffered from Insomnia. Almost every night she spends hours exploring space using the telescope she got last Christmas.

The youngest in the family is also the most mischievous (and mysterious) since she rarely leaves her room. At eight years old Hedy is growing up with the rapid advancements in technology so it was inevitable that she became a computer wiz. Spending most of her free time glued to a computer, laptop or tablet Hedy became fascinated with coding and game development. As the youngest child she likes to show off and has pulled of a few impressive pranks. She hacked into a pizzeria and ordered 10 large pizza for delivery, but the most impressive was the time she emptied a vending machine full of snacks just by pressing a few buttons. Still that type of behaviour can’t be rewarded…. But it was really cool!

Being recognised as a child genius comes with a lot of expectations and pressure; something I came to realise very young. When I was six years old I watched Prim struggle to live up to the expectations the world had of her. She was only eight years old and studying something that she loved, it wasn’t fair to put so much pressure on a child just because they displayed talent. Despite all that, Prim was saved by the very thing that attracted the world’s attention, her love of science. 

People always forget that just because someone is recognised as a genius doesn’t mean they know everything; in fact they all lack basic common sense. Something an ordinary person like me has bundles of. Growing up immersed in their own worlds, their drive to learn, explore and experiment was all they were interested in. 

I count myself lucky to be part of such a uniquely interesting family. There is never a dull moment in our house. Over the years I have watched my amazing brothers and sisters be rewarded for many achievements but I never thought they would actually save the world!

. . .

How my siblings saved the world…

Apart from meal time, it was rare for all of us to be in the same room together. But that day, none of us knew why Cecil had called us all together. It was only a few minutes later that we found out why. 

One day while observing the wonders of the universe Cecil discovered something. Something that would be her first step in becoming a world class astronomer. A stray asteroid, the biggest she had ever seen. The excitement of her discovery was short-lived after calculating the asteroids (predicted) course, it was heading straight towards Earth’s moon. If an asteroid of that size crash into the moon there would be dire consequences for all life on Earth. 

When the asteroid crashes into the moon the impact would shatter a third of the moon. That’s not even the worst part! All the broken rock and debris would scatter in space with some falling to earth.

With less than a year until the impact my super siblings combined their talents to build a one-of-a-kind rocket capable of knocking the asteroid off course and avoid crashing into the moon. 

Prim, Ivan and Cecil worked on the software, calculations and science parts of the project. While Adwin, Danni and Albus focused on design, materials and construction.

Growing up with these superb individuals I honestly thought nothing they did would surprise me. That was until they started building a space rocket in our garden!

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