If you’re a regular social media user (and let’s face it, you probably wouldn’t have landed here if you aren’t), then chances are you heard at some point that today is National Siblings Day!
Before I get to my point, let me first say that I am a firm skeptic of these “so called” special days. In fact, I’m a little confused as to how they suddenly appeared, most likely via social media. Call me ignorant, but was Sibling Day always a “thing”? Was I simply not in the know?
Oh, I’m in the know now, however. It seems like every other day on Twitter, people are hash-tagging “National Hug Your Neighbor Day” (imaginary, I think, because no. And if you’re my neighbor, this just got awkward, didn’t it? And sorry about all the yelling), or “National Grandparents Day” (I get that one), or *”National Cheese Lovers Day”.*
*I don’t know if that’s really a thing, but if not, it should be.*
So yes, I do tend to poke fun at our need to apparently celebrate every last random thing, and the unspoken expectation that if you have a social media account, you will do so publicly.
When I saw that today was Siblings Day, I DID feel moved to post something in tribute to my brother and my sister. Not because everyone else was, but because… I love those two nuts. I really do. Now granted, I wasn’t as fond of them growing up, because they messed up my only-child game, but I have yet to meet anyone who makes me laugh the way those two weirdos do. And I say that with utter affection, because like them, I am a weirdo.
And even now when the three of us get together, there is a LOT of laughter, a lot of teasing, and a lot of talk about bodily functions (THEM, not me. Eww).
When I think of my brother and sister, I automatically think of their humor, and our shared laughter, but our relationships go much deeper than that. All three of us have had spectacular highlights and dreadful lows, and we’ve done our best to support one another, and most importantly: to love each other where he/she is at.
My brother and I may go for weeks on end without calling one another (with 11 kids between us, we’re busyyyy), but I know if I need him, he’s there. Even more so with my sister; not only has she helped me in countless ways with my kids, but she’d drive a car through the house of anyone who messed with me (HER words, not mine. Seriously. How awesome is she?!)
When I thought back on our relationships, I also had to consider how blessed I’ve been to have them. They’re certainly not perfect, but not everyone has the opportunity to be present in their sibling’s life, whether due to personal differences, geographical challenges, or even death.
Whoa. Deep for a simple social media holiday, huh??
What made me really think was viewing other people’s pictures of not just their own adult siblings, but their kids. Call me oblivious, but with six kids, I tend to overlook the idea that in addition to being a sibling of five other children, my kids also have their own unique relationships with each sibling. There are times when one will gravitate more to a particular brother or sister, or share a common interest in an activity.
And like my brother and sister, my kids laugh together.
They play together, loudly.
They fight together, loudly.
They dance together. Hug. Run. Play. Giggle.
These are the moments that make my heart burst: these moments that are captured forever on film, but also the spontaneous moments of love, fun, affection, or empathy that are not preserved on film, but rather in my memory.
As I think about my kids in terms of their sibling relationships, I can only hope that they stay as close as they are now, and that they are lucky enough to enjoy and support one another in the future. They are so different in their own unique ways, but I can only hope that I’ve given them enough of a sense of family loyalty and love that they can take into their adult lives together.
I want my kids to accept one another as they are. To support one another’s efforts. To laugh with each other. To cry with each other. To celebrate each other’s successes, and console each other’s failures. I want them to look out for each other, settle their differences, and hopefully be thankful to be such a meaningful part of one another’s lives.
Despite my earlier stance, I have to say that Sibling Day is acceptable in my book… especially since I’m not obligated to stop at Hallmark to celebrate it.
(well Sibling Day and National Cheese Lover’s Day. I’ve been informed that there IS a National Cheese Lover’s Day, and it’s January 20th. Get ON that, Hallmark.)
Here’s your card, siblings! Mwah!
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