Monday, June 27, 2011

Mondays Memories: Siblings



Siblings... you have them or you don't, either way it shapes your life. Having many or few or none at all. It helps define you... you realize that you're "other". What do I mean by that? I find that kids in the same family are rarely alike. I have four boys. I find that their personalities, likes, dislikes, and character is unique.

I know that Libby having four younger brothers is going to shape the young woman she's going to become. I know the boys will be affected by each other and having an older sister.

I've met people who grew up without sister or brother.

I used to think if you're an only child that would be pretty awesome. I thought it meant you get all the attention. All that you want. You get to pick where you go. Blah, blah, blah. Now I feel for only children. How horrible to find out the world doesn't center around you. What a wake-up call. I'm not judging people who only have one child. Some people can only have one. Some people chose for financial reasons, physical, etc. that it's not the best for their family. Some people feel like they can't handle more, etc.

But if I had a choice for most people it would be to have more than one child. I feel kids are pretty robbed when they have no brother or sister to play with, fight with, learn with. Siblings are amazing teachers of the realities of life. Life can be hard, unfair, frustrating, and wonderful.

Some of my best memories ever were made with my siblings. I did things that I will never forget. My sister and I went and taught English in China together. We played in mud and dirt and in our play house and had "berry wars" and jumped in the rain and played hopscotch.

Our brother was our baby doll. We loved to put him in our baby cradles and rock him. The three of us would play a combination of barbies, legos, GI Joes and transformers with building blocks my dad built and dinosaurs were included.

My Dad would take us on these cool mini trips. We went and watched the shooting stars one night. Telescope in hand, my father would let us pick out any and every junk food item we wanted. We were so shocked. Our Mom was kind of a health nut so the thought of picking candy was overwhelming. Twizzlers, starbursts and reeses cups we would go drive some where very far away (or at least it felt like it being so young) and then we'd pull over and set up. I remember it being a little chilly but it was so special.

My Dad also would take us on these overnights to the beach... We would stay in a hotel. We would go swimming. Eat fast food... and once again junk food. It was there my sister and I watched our first music videos. Country. I had never seen a music video and I had never heard country music. We munched on Twizzlers while watching Shania Twain and Faith Hill.

Our family nights together often included playing games. We loved card games. Uno, skip-bo, rummy royale. My Mom would melt velveeta with rotel and blend with some milk. I can't tell you how many bags of tortilla chips we went through with our cheese dip.

My Mom always told us, "Your siblings are your best friends. You have them for life."

The worst crime we could commit was being unkind to each other. Whether it was calling each other names or just doing something mean if it was towards a sibling then we were in big trouble. I learned you don't call your brother or sister "stupid, dumb, jerk, or idiot".... the punishment was horrible.

We hated when our siblings got punished. If someone was being disciplined with a parent, the other two would be outside crying. If one of us was punished, we were virtually all punished. Our hurts together.

Christmas we frosted cookies and decorated the tree and watched Frosty & Rudolph together. We went sledding when there was snow. We learned to rollerblade together. We played basketball together... and tennis... and swim lessons. We sang in choir... and at home... and in the car. And hours and hours and hours in the pool playing Marco Polo, diving for objects under the water, and of course creating a whirl pool.

Hundreds of hours of Psalty the singing song book, the donut man, and adventures in odyssey.

Yard Sales selling lemonade. Chicken pox, all together. Birthdays. 7-11 Slurpees.

The last time the three of us together was the most painful. Libby was in a casket being prepared to be placed in the ground. My brother and I stood there, tears streaming our cheeks. The grief overwhelming and numbing and feeling like I was going to be sick. No words were spoken. That parting was the severing of a limb in my heart. Something is gone that will be missed the rest of my earthly life.

Our three amigos turned into two.

The musketeers lost their partner.

Our partner in crime was gone.

The pain is so bad.

BUT... one day we will be together again. Not on this side. It won't be until we've crossed into Heaven. One day things will be made right.

I feel so lost without Libby. I've lost my best friend and confidante. There is so much I want to talk to her about. Family matters. Friendships. Marriage. Children. Cancer. Special needs. Dreams. Hopes.

I just want to go and sit with her at Starbucks and vent about life. Take the kids to the park. Laugh about potty training and various mommy trials. She always made me laugh when I was crying.

I don't say this to make you feel guilty... but if you have siblings do what you can to have a good relationship. Ask forgiveness. Reconcile. You never know when you'll have to say good-bye. Don't wait until it's too late. I had the blessing of being in a good place with my sister when she died. But I recognize not everyone has that opportunity. No one understands your life growing up like your brother or sister.

I miss my sister YET in the meantime I'm going to enjoy having my brother. I am thankful as well that God has given me two wonderful sister-in-laws who are truly like sisters and not some added relation. I also have the blessing of being able to teach my children how to love each other and prefer and honor each other. It gives me great joy when I see my children willfully sharing. Samuel hurt himself on something and Ian went quickly and gave Samuel a favored toy. Peter was crying and Samuel brought Peter his favorite toy. I hope and pray that like me and my siblings that they become wonderful, cherished friends.



Resource: BTW- One of my favorite books pertaining to this subject is by Dr. Kevin Leman. The Birth Order Book talks about how the order in which you're birthed helps develop your personality and make-up. A very good read for understanding yourself and others!

2 comments:

Jessica Rockey said...

Great memories! It makes having kids so close together seem totally 'worth it';)
On a different note... AHHH! Psalty was the Best! "No-no don't do it CHARITY... No no don't do it CHARITY! God has a better way- take the time to PRAY!" "I'm Risky Rat from mousetrap records." "Did you say mousetrap?" "No-no my dear. Mouse TALES... It's mouse TALES! Read my lips."

Caren said...

Jenn, thank you so much for writing those memories of your siblings. I have 3 brothers, and we dont have the best relationships...Thank you for reminding me that I may not have them all the time, and I should try to have the best relationship possible with them...I also hope my girls can grow and be each other's best friends!