Gotta love Facebook for introducing me to Sibling Day two years ago. Of course that was the day that I hadn’t checked FB until after dinner. Everyone had posted lovely or funny pics and posts about their siblings so I quickly scrambled to send out a picture because I refused to be the jerk who didn’t wish my brother a Happy Sibling Day. Turns out my brother is never on Facebook! Nonetheless, on Monday, April 10th, I’m still going to send him a thoughtful pinch on Facebook since I am already going to be on there reading all the posts about Sibling Day. It’s something I look forward to each year because I get to see all the pictures and learn about all the siblings.
My brother and I are 6 years a part and you know what that means. I’m an “only child” and he’s an “only child”. Being the oldest and a rule follower, it wasn’t long before my parents came to think it was completely appropriate for me to take care of my little brother without their supervision. Luckily for both of us, we survived and I will take full credit for all the good traits he has. Unlucky for me that I have flashbacks of the stuff that a ten year old should not be teaching a four year old. I think about those years when he was so impressionable and I wish there was an adult around to tell ten year old me that I shouldn’t call him stupid. My biggest hope is that siblings nowadays never hear or say these things to each other. In my house, I would rather catch my kids dropping an F bomb than hear them call their sibling stupid. Ever since I was old enough to fully appreciate the blessing of having a sibling (my college freshman year) - I have tried to show my brother that I am his BIGGEST fan. Even though I don’t agree with some of his actions, I’ve always been there in case he needs me. As for me needing him…it is a rare occasion to get his voicemail when I call him. He ALWAYS picks up and is ready to listen or help me in any way he can. I absolutely love my brother and I am extremely proud of the type of father he is for his two kids. We’ve gotten to the point now that there isn’t a fight or disagreement big enough that would make us question if we had each other’s back. I’m grateful that our bond is so strong that very little could weaken it.
In these posts I share many personal stories and I decided to toe the line to share one about my sibling-in-laws. Straight and to the point: If it weren’t for my hub’s siblings, I am not sure we would have gotten married. When we first started dating, I quickly noticed that my hub spent a lot of time with his brothers and that was unusual for me because in my circle of friends, even though we loved our siblings, we did NOT hang out with them. It was so much fun because we would be out with lots of my hub’s friends and his brothers would always meet up with us. Soon I came to think of his brothers as part of my family too. When times got rough I would think, “That’s it, I’m done. I can’t keep dating this guy.” But the one thing that always put things into perspective was thinking about the absence of his brothers in my life. Whatever issue we were fighting about at the time was never worth giving up my relationships with those guys. As an added bonus, within the last few years, I have found a truck load of things in common with the youngest sibling in the family and we have spent some good quality time together. My hub’s sister is six years younger than him and she completes this sibling foursome. I’ve known all of them for over twenty one years and yet I’m always amazed by what they do for each other. For instance, last week my hub had to work in Arizona and families were encouraged to come along. I had been looking forward to this trip because the set up is always wonderful for the spouses and the kids get to enjoy some fun in the sun too. We knew we weren’t going to spend all of our time together as a family but we needed this trip in order to bond. Due to my hub’s work schedule, going somewhere as a family is pretty limited to once a year. So this was considered a bonus even though he had to work. Well, my brother-in-law jumped into his car with his daughter and drove from So Cal to see us in Arizona! I’m not going to lie, at first I was bummed because this would mean slicing up the moments we had as a family into even smaller pieces. But after an hour or two I shook it off. This was a testament of how much these brothers will do anything for a chance to spend time together. How could I have been so selfish? I let go of the “family” vacation because the fact is my brother-in-law has a HUGE heart! Of course he would drive out in the middle of a busy time in his life - right before he was going on a trip to Vietnam. This is what they do. The cousins had some major bonding time. Our mostly all-expense paid vacation turned into a win-win-win. A triple blessing.
Sibling Day is a wonderful thoughtful pinch holiday. Shout out to your brother on Voxer, put out an image of your sister on Instagram or share a post about your siblings on whatever app you use these days. I hope that people will continue to use Sibling Day to share their stories of ALL the siblings, especially the ones who are no longer here with us. Take the opportunity to show off your sibling. Everyone, even the “only child”, can never get enough positive information about the people we know. I am going to use Sibling Day as an excuse to tell the universe that even though we can’t choose our family (cough, cough), I feel very fortunate that I ended up in the same one as my brother.