Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Siblings are the Bomb

I was telling a friend about a funny conversation I had with mybrother, and she made the comment, "I want a brother like yours. It sounds like y'all have a great relationship." Later on I processed that comment (the brain is S-L-O-W these days) and realized how right she was. I have one brother, Jay, and we talk regularly and laugh A LOT. We get each other and genuinely like each other's company. Growing up, we fought constantly and vehemently. Then when I was in 8th grade and he was in 11th grade, we quit being a-holes and started being friends. We have been there for each through every joyful and terrible thing, and I couldn't ask for a better brother. 

The way I see it, no one understands exactly where you came from except siblings. Only your siblings get exactly what makes you, you. They saw you grow, change, and come into your own as a person, all while sharing a roof, parents, clothes, and in our case, a wall. No one else could ever understand why it is so funny to say, "wood chuck to grey squirrel." No one else remembers the time he caught my sweater caught on fire. No one else was there to convince my parents to let me watch "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" at my slumber party even though they thought it may be a tad too racy. No one else covered for me when I snuck into my parent's liquor cabinet. Yep, all Jay.

Without my brother there to play with, fight with, and tell on, my childhood would have been a very lonely existence. It is so not fun to swing on a tire swing in the back yard alone. You can't have food fights alone. Subsequently, it is more fun to wash windows with someone else. It is boring to play Monopoly alone (full disclosure it is actually quite boring with two people). We have the same memories of family vacations, holidays, and normal everyday boring life. I can't imagine if I didn't have a Jay in my life to share all those memories with. Don't get my wrong, it was not all laughs and good times. We are family, and families don't always get along. It can't always be great, because that would be impossible. We still have disagreements (yes you did through the ice pack overhand at my face) and we know exactly how to push each other's buttons (Mr. Sensitive). But the good outweighs the bad, by about a zillion.

The hubs has a sister, and when he got up to toast her at her wedding, he may have become a bit, umm, verclemped. It was sweet and touching because he is not forthcoming with emotions, especially not in front of a ballroom filled with over a hundred people. As he was a wee bit choked up, I finished his speech for him and we made our way back to our table. As soon as we sat down, his mom leaned over and whispered, "all I ever wanted was for you two to love each other. Now I know you really do." While he could not appreciate her comment at the moment because it put a kink in his efforts to compose himself, I logged that sweet moment away. Truer words were never spoken by a mother and I now understand and feel the exact same way. I want my kids to have a bond that is special and strong, no matter how far apart they are in miles or life. However, I wish for Alice and my future children to not only love each other, but to like each other. I know a lot of people who don't really like their siblings even though they love them. They don't "get" each other, they don't see eye to eye, they have no common ground as adults. And that makes me sad (tear). Fortunately both of hubs and I not only love our siblings, we like them a lot. Hopefully that will provide our kids with good examples.

To have a sibling to share life's important milestones is invaluable. Jay and I have been there for each other through failed relationships, deaths of family and friends, each other's weddings, and the birth of my child. When I think back over my life, there he is, always being the best big brother I could ever ask for. I was distraught when he left to go to college so be bought me a kitten. He surprised me by coming home when I was on Homecoming Court my senior year. He came to my 21st birthday. He drove me home from college the last day of my senior year. He is the only person who came to see me in Australia. He cried at my wedding. He drove in the wee hours of the morning to see my newborn daughter the day she came into the world. Becuase he couldn't stand it and was so excited. Now that, my linty peeps, is a good brother.

I hope to provide Lady Baby with at least one sibling so she will have someone to conspire with, play with, and resent me with. I want her to have a partner in crime like I did. I don't care if she gets a sister or a brother, I just want her to have someone to have her back and be on her side. A sibling who knows where she came from and help her on the path to where she is going. It's okay if they beat the crap out of each for the first decade, they have their whole life to be friends. Take it from me. Jay and I are living proof. 


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