So it is supposed to be National Siblings Day, so I guess it is the time to talk about my siblings. I have two brothers and two sisters….which to everyone else seems like a big family, but to me it just seems normal.
Our house was loud growing up. Almost all of the time. We fought a lot. Drove my mother crazy. We’d be screaming “I hate you” at each other one minute, pulling hair and throwing punches, then five minutes later would be watching TV together giggling. She couldn’t understand the quick transitions.
The TV was a major point of contention. There would be knock-down drag outs over which program to watch. For a long time he/she who stole the knob won (children, we actually had a thingie on the TV where you had to get up, walk over to the TV, and turn that thingie to change the channel. Just think of it as a remote, that had to be attached to the TV to have any power.) We then realized an amazing thing….the real power came from the person who pulled out the plug. Yep…..usually we would prefer we watch no TV at all if we didn’t get our way. As my mother would say “we’d cut off our nose to spite our face.”
My best friend Carole was one of two kids, and as a result got a few more things than I did. Like the cool bike with hand brakes (which everyone knows I changed my position on later….I hate hand brakes. Only foot brakes are really cool.) I remember grumbling to my mom about this and saying “Why did you have to have so many children?” Ever wise she said, “You are probably right. We might have had too many. Which of you shouldn’t we have had?” OK, stopped me in my tracks. My youngest brother Derek is nine years younger than me, so he was my adored baby as he was growing up. Logic would say him, but no….I wouldn’t give him back. I considered Deryn for a while, but decided maybe we should keep her, too. Dana and Scott….couldn’t imagine not having them around either. I think that was the day I really realized that my siblings trumped things any day of the week.
We’re all quite different, but very similar, too. There is definitely a sibling code. We’re all quite opinionated and will almost always share our opinion, solicited or not. But there are limits. We allow each other to make our own mistakes. We will tell each other when we think the other is wrong, if we think it needs to be told. Sometimes it doesn’t. Often it doesn’t. But when we do say it, usually we will say it once and shut up. If we happen to mention it again, a mere look will change the subject. Forever. We have very few disagreements as adults, fewer arguments, but when we do they are forgiven quickly. Usually forgotten pretty quickly, too. Just as in our childhood, we have short memories when it comes to such things. Bottom line, I know I could do anything and they would still love me. I also know that they will never tell me it’s OK when I am doing wrong. There’s a balance there that is perfect, and I know it to be the bedrock of my life. Something I know not everyone has. A true gift of God,
There is a lot of humor amongst us, and a lot of support. There aren’t a lot of obligations. I may go a month, two months, six months without seeing some of them. Or at least Dana. 😉 Still, when I need them, they will be there. Any one of them. They will not be dramatic, they will not act self-sacrificing, but they will be practically useful. They probably won’t gush a lot about how much they love me, but they will love me in deed and with a solid power. (Let’s face it, too gushy and the eyes would roll back in my head.) When it gets down to it, they are the easiest relationships in my life, and since most of my friends are low maintenance that says a lot. I respect each one of them, I like each one if them, I love each one of them, and I enjoy each one of them.
The bond we have as siblings will never be broken. I don’t believe this is just because we share blood, share parents, or share history. It’s the nature of who they are. They have proven their commitment to me over and over again. There is something about having someone who is solidly in your corner, that will be there to catch you if you ever fall, but who will also laugh afterwards until you, too, are laughing hysterically that you got yourself in that predicament in the first place. Chances are they will have the perfect quote from “I Love Lucy” or “The Brady Bunch” or mom or dad to put all of life in perspective. Or at least that minute. They are some of my greatest riches.
Happy Siblings Day Dana, Scott, Deryn and Derek. You were definitely made especially and perfectly for me. I think I am going to keep you…..because my friend Debbie bought me a great bike with foot brakes, like the real cool kids have, so who wants hand brakes anyway?
(And also Happy Siblings Day to my self-adopted brother Steve…..who I just may horrify with sisterly affection/abuse sometimes, but who I think is catching on to the brother thing nicely!)