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?