Sunday, 31 July 2011


Lucy, Claire, Charlie, Tom, William, 1971

I spoke to my siblings this weekend.

It is rare that I speak to all of them in one weekend. Often it's a snatched email with one, a quick Skype link up with another, and a long rambling feet up three cups of tea kind of phone conversation. So, to talk to all of them, properly, in the same weekend was well worth the phone bill and the time difference.

It gives me a strong feeling of familial closeness and comfort when I have chatted, laughed, empathized and cconnected with them.

We do not have perfect sibling relationships. There is a large age gap, and even more of a geographical gap. There is a shared history though and a sense of togetherness that is irreplaceable.

As one of five, I was always a part of a rather notorious gang. We were infamous, a lot of the time. My elder brothers were heroes of mine.

My elder siblings cared for me. Apparently my oldest brother helped toilet train me, and taught me how to ride a bike and how to play backgammon. I miss him the most now he is gone.

My sister was an ever regular babysitter. She taught me to read, and had me writing my name at three years old. She hosted all the party games at my sixth birthday.

My middle brother was always my confidant and tucked me under his wing from as far back as I can remember. He was the one that busted me smoking as a teen, and slipped me cash as a penniless student. His home is my bolt hole.  In times of pain, he is the one I call. I am inordinately fond.

My younger brother gets me totally. We are two peas from the same pod, he and I. We revel in sharing the same wavelength. Come hell or high water, I trust and respect him. My loyalty to him is unwavering.

I am not really sure of the purpose of this post.

Only to acknowledge that I really love my siblings. I am glad they are the people they are. I am glad we get on so well. I adore their partners and love their children as my own. We do not compete, and for that I am eternally grateful. We are all non-confrontational, but equally there is never side taking or sniping either. They are too gracious for bitching. We are honest with one another, always.  I am sad we are so far apart. I miss them. But I love talking to them and I am so glad they are happy to share my world.

Do you have siblings? Are you friends or foe?


  1. A lovely post. I have 3 siblings and live interstate from my entire family, so I do miss them, especially more as we've all gotten older, parents included, and they've got kids. My daughter's don't get to see their cousins much at all. I'm the eldest so was the one who kept being told, "You're not my mummy". I know when I was about 10 that I had a very close bond with my baby brother whilst my middle siblings were closer. We've had some bad rifts amongst the middles in recent years but I'm so grateful they are over that now and we are all able to be together at family gatherings once again.

  2. This is such a lovely post Lucy. Whether you love 'em or loathe 'em, siblings are part of who we are really aren't they? I have one older brother and 4 step sisters. My brother and I had a love-hate relationship growing up. I loved him, I thought he hated me :)(who wouldn't dislike having a pesky little sister around). We've connected in adulthood through each of us having children and sharing our experiences. He lives in Hong Kong so we really don't see each other (or the kids) enough. As for my step-sisters, we see each other rarely but when we do get together it's wonderful!

  3. Amazing picture! Something about old pics that make me feel all good inside.

  4. I love all my siblings! We are all in different states/countries and we don't talk nearly often enough and it's been 7 years since we were all in the same room together...but we call (sometimes) and email (sometimes) and it's always like old times when we do :-) This was such a lovely post to start my sunday morning with!! Thank you.

  5. I only have one sibling living interstate but we talk often on the phone and get on really well now we are both adults. I have a huge extended family though with LOTS of cousins, so I don't feel I am missing out.

  6. I adore my siblings even though we drive each other mad sometimes. This week I get to catch up with two of them and I am so thrilled to be seeing them. I totally get what you mean xxx

  7. What a lovely post. I love my two brothers and their partners. They both live a few hours away, but fortunately we get to catch up at least every 2 months so the kids get to play with their cousins. It wasn't always the way though, I am 6 years and 4 years older than them, so was so uncool as they were growing up and it wasn't until they hit about 25 and met their gorgeous wives that they actually started to get me and our relationship developed into mutual respect. Now, I enjoy their company and cherish the time we spend together xx

  8. Lovely post Lucy and the pic is gorgeous!

  9. What a gorgeous photo! Which part of your relationship is not perfect? It made me teary actually. My parents divorced when I was 9 and the eldest of four children. Long story but I ended up living with my father and missed my siblings terribly. We live in different states and are not close. There is a pretence there and that really hurts. Just recently one sister who comments on my blog, sends loving emails, came to WA for 12 days. We have not seen each other for 5 years. She didn't notify me and 'popped' in to see me and my kids for 4 hours then promised to spend another day with us and was a no show. It really hurt.
    I have close relationships with my husband's siblings but it is not the same.

  10. How sweet. It's so beautiful that you have such a great relationship with them! I think I'm going to go call my sister!

  11. This could have been my story, except I don't have a younger brother. Loved every single word. Gorgeous.
    So glad you got such a big dose of your people this weekend. x

  12. I'm one of four - LOVE having siblings. Love it and love them.

    Beautiful post :)

  13. Love the photo Lucy and it's a lovely thing to see some of your history and to read about it too. I share the pain of siblings far away. I miss my two sisters more and more as the years go by; it isn't gettinge asier, it's getting harder. I miss my brother too and feel strongly that I ought to be there more for him; he has severe schizophrenia. He's a good person and it feels all wrong to be so far away.

    But we are.... just have to feel the pain, integrate it into life and be grateful for the good relationships I do have with my siblings.

  14. I am blessed to have two sisters. We love and get on each others nerves in equal measure.

    For a trivial reason I have not spoken with my youngest sister for a month.

    I'm picking up the phone now...

    Lucy thank you for this post and reminding me what is really important.

  15. Having siblings is such a blessing, my sister is my rock and my truest confidante in the whole world! I also have a younger brother and while we arent as close as my sister & I, I love him to bits as well. So glad you got to connect with all your siblings - and that picture is priceless!

  16. Aw, Lucy. That's gorgeous. You know already how I feel about mine, but I am often in danger of leaving out my dear brother. Must give him a call in the morning! x


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