my facebook newsfeed was flooded with images of families yesterday, as it was “national siblings day”. there were many pictures of brothers and sisters smiling at the camera, and, from the looks of it, all of them seemed to get along all of the time. well…at least that’s what it looks like from the pictures.
but anyone who’s ever had a brother or sister knows that’s not always the case.
in my own family, we were VERY close – in age.
before my 1st birthday, my little sister, julie, was born.
my little sister, bridget, was born before my 2nd birthday.
two weeks after my 3rd birthday, my little brother, brian, was born.
i was two years old when i changed my sibling’s first diaper. started doing laundry when i was eight. i cooked gourmet dinners of elbow macaroni with parmesan cheese and frozen pizzas by time i was nine. i was also disciplining my younger siblings ever since i can remember.
my sisters and brother were born into a family where the dictator (first born with strong leadership skills) took over from the very beginning. it was made worse by the fact that we had a LOT of unsupervised alone time. it was only natural that one of the kids would become the “alpha”.
i look back at some of those memories and wonder – who the hell did i think i was?
when they finally figured out that they could say “no!” to me, i was crushed. we’d fight like cats and dogs (although i should note here that our cat and dogs NEVER fought). after hours of fighting over clothes, food, tv shows, etc., we’d figure something out and rarely hold grudges.
we also had a LOT of laughs, fun holidays complete with silly string and good times with all of our furry pals. when we’d see each other at school, we’d try to pretend not to know each other, but always catch one another’s eye and smile.
no one knows us like our siblings know us.
our siblings shape us.
those first relationships shaped the way i saw the world and connected with other people. and, for that, i am so grateful.
today, we will gather to celebrate YEARS of family and friendship at the house with the red door. it seems appropriate that the gathering is the day after “national siblings day” because today we honor the importance of family – the one you’re born into and the ones you choose.