Siblings Are A Gift
As soon as we realized we were pregnant with our second, I plugged the required data into a pregnancy app to figure out the due date: Dec. 24th. Our line from then on was that “We are giving Associate P the best gift he will ever get.” Of course most people assumed we said that because it would be a Christmas baby. But I really believe that siblings are a gift we give our kids.
Siblings are a special relationship for so many reasons. You share your life with them. Friends and neighbors may come and go, but family, as they say, is forever. You took a bath together when you were little and know each others embarrassing adolescent secrets. For both my husband and I, there was no question who we wanted to stand next to us at our wedding: our siblings. No matter where your individual personalities and talents take you, your siblings will always be the people who know you, the whole story.
I love my siblings and know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without their influence on my life. As the youngest of five, I have been able to learn so much from them. Some things I learned a little earlier than maybe I should have… ahem. Now as an adult, one of the best compliments I have ever received was to hear that they have learned a few things from me as well.
This is not to say it is an easy relationship. To the contrary. It is one of the hardest, most frustrating relationships you will ever have. Whether you are too similar, or polar-opposites, from the time you are in diapers your siblings are both friend and foe. As I’m learning now with my two little ones, the competition for a parents attention is a fierce and babies instinctively covet whatever object it is that their sibling has, and they lack. Most siblings don’t outgrow these emotions, they grow up with them. And I find Birth-Order influence fascinating. I’m no psychologist, but I fully intend on studying and experimenting with its effects on my own kids 🙂
All this reminiscing is in the wake of the surprising news that my uncle passed away today. My heart breaks for his kids, of course, but today my heart aches for my dad. I know he loved his big brother. I know they have a shared lifetime of memories – happy, sad and everything in between. And tonight when I saw my little associates cozy in the chair looking at books before bed, I imagined a little Jimmy and little Butchie, 70-some years ago, doing the same thing.
I really do believe that siblings are the best gift we as parents can give our kids…. the gift of a friend for life.