Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Siblings and Me

My mother tells me that when my brother and sister were born, I was the opposite of jealous. I always watched out for them, showered them with plenty of attention and affection, and willingly let them play with any of my toys. I almost don’t believe the story, but my father has begrudgingly confirmed it. I do know that I was never one of those vindictive older sisters who teased or roughed up my younger siblings. My parents counted on me to watch out for them, and I always did so, even when they made it hard for me.

Sometimes I think my kindness and generous nature were seen as weaknesses by my siblings and other family members, but I have shown over the years that I am no weakling. When my father underwent an emergency quadruple bypass surgery, I was the one who comforted my brother and sister, because I knew that everything would be alright. They would agree that in many respects, I am the strongest of the three of us.

When I look back on our childhood together, I realize that as good a child as I was, I wouldn’t have become the person I am today if it wasn’t for my brother and sister. I learned to stand up for myself more, because they challenged me. Ultimately, I am a stronger person because I had a brother and sister who taught me how to be an effective human being, whether they are aware of it or not. Even today, I am still learning from them: my brother’s vivid imagination and aptitude for knowledge continues to inspire me to explore my creative side, while my sister’s relentless pursuit of personal and professional success helps me resist my nature to be complacent, so I can focus on my future.

It is a relationship that I think many of us take for granted, because we are born into it. We can’t divorce our siblings... they are ours for life, whether we like or not.

Do you have any sibling stories to share?


Anonymous said...

V nice.. and yes i agree that when your dad went for his surgery, ur composure and assurance was admirable. Thats when I realized , well actually before that u r no weakling. There was an incident when u had to make an independent decision regarding sending Jennifer to Ireland and I was impressed how u took a stand and i learned a few things from it myself .

cute pic btw.

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is Jenny. This was awesome, Pauline and all true. You have been a dream come true as a big sister and always there for any one of us in the family. If I didn't have siblings, somehow the sense of loneliness comes to mind. Having a brother and sister means that whatever happens and you need immediate help or support, you drop EVERYTHING and go to them - just like Batman has the bat signal, siblings have that special sibling signal. And I'm blessed to have 2 siblings that keep the love coming when friendships have faded or been otherwise occupied.

Anonymous said...

I think about this a lot as I decide whether or not to go through pregnancy/c-section/etc again ...

I am an only child and I know there are things I missed out on not having siblings. It seems you learn certain things when you spend your life growing up next to another person.

Not only am I an only child, but we moved a lot. I became very good at making friends, but not as good at keeping them when serious disagreements happen. I'm getting better, but I'm 35 and wish some of these lessons had been learned earlier!

Anyway ... I want Jack to have the sibling experience so he can learn some of those lessons - and have a built in friend to lean on as he grows!

Kekla Magoon said...

Great post, Pauline. As a fellow protective older sister, it reminds me of my brother and me. It's interesting how the relationship changes but also doesn't change as we get older.

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