Firstly, I was thinking about my own children and their relationship as siblings which is still in it’s ‘infancy’. Then I realised there was obviously my own siblings and of course my husbands siblings.
So my boys. As I write, it is the eve of my eldest fourth birthday and in this last year he has become an older brother, I have watched with delight and amazement the relationship and bond build between my boys. In the first few months I had given their relationship much thought only how when my attention was taken by another adult my eldest son would start to prod and poke my youngest to which of course I then made a huge fuss. Now my youngest is at the beautiful age of 9 months the giggles and laughter he produces even at the sight of his brother are truly touching. He loves to watch him, wants to join in and I feel misses him when he is not around. The relationship of brotherhood growing in front of my eyes was something I had failed to think about before and feel blessed to be able to observe in wonder. Of course there is the rough and tumble which at the moment is purely accidental and I still end up an ‘almost’ nervous state however inevitable the day will come when they will be deliberately provoking and tormenting each other – I can’t wait!
So, my own siblings; I am lucky I have one of each. Recently with other mums we have been having conversations about having ‘2 or 3 children’ and I love being one of three. My sister is 4 years younger than me and I have just this afternoon said goodbye to her, after her latest visit (as she doesn’t live near me ) and it is always such a heart-break. Perhaps all sisters feel this. It is a unique blend of friendship, sisterhood and almost mirroring, if there is such an expression. I wish she just lived around the corner – perhaps even more so because her son is almost 3 and so our boys are also forming a relationship
We managed to have a couple of conversations, usually with kids in tow it isn’t always easy to get deep. This time, we did and I was moved, surprised and a bit sorrowful by the effect of being the older sister. With both my sister and brother now I have an additional motherly and protective feeling towards them, both in different areas of their lives. My brother is 9 years younger than me and in his 6ft 5 inch muscular height no longer really my little brother. He is geographically much nearer but with his age our lives are at very different stages, however there is something about his current work pattern and direction that I feel emulates my own and I wish I could transfer the wisdom of hindsight!
My husband is one of five and as they all live in the Middle East he has very different relationship and in some ways bond I would say. The first time I went with him to Egypt all 5 were reunited and it was loud with laughter, chatter and interaction that was built on memories, openness and emotion. Although this piece is not ultimately about siblings, I now look at it so. The relationship between a mother and child or father and child has impact and effect on siblings. Also, as a mother I am now aware of the fact I am raising brothers. I hope and pray for them that their relationship grows strong and deep, supportive and cherished.
‘To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.’ ~Clara Ortega
‘Our siblings. They resemble us just enough to make all their differences confusing, and no matter what we choose to make of this, we are cast in relation to them our whole lives long’. ~Susan Scarf Merrell