On Siblings

The other day, my children walked together like this:


It’s not unusual for them to walk hand-in-hand. My daughter adores her big brother and the feeling for him is (mostly) mutual.

I often wonder how long this adoration will last. If they will remain close their whole lives or drift apart. If the 4.5 year gap will mean they will have little in common for most of their lives, or if it will bring a level of closeness to them, having less to argue about.

I’m very close to my parents but, to be honest, I’m not particularly close with my siblings. We don’t have sibling brawls or tense holidays or anything, but, on a day to day basis, I really have no idea what’s going on in their lives. Part of this is the physical distance between us- jobs have taken my brother and I far from home- and part of it is also the fact that we’re all so different from one another.

But the thing about siblings is they lived the same childhood as you. They understand your upbringing and formative years in a way nobody else does or can. Your perceptions of your childhood could be different but you did experience it together. Your spouse arrives late into your life and parents may depart early, but, in an ideal world, your siblings will have been there for the whole ride and will always be there.

Life is changing. Families are living further and further apart. So, you choose a new surrogate family and create a sense of family wherever you are. In the new world, your friends are your family.

But, though I hope Reid and Ramona find people to love wherever they are in the world, my wish for them is that they won’t stay away from each other for too long. That they will always feel the bond they feel today. That they will help each other face life’s obstacles. My biggest hope and greatest wish is that they will continue to walk the path together, hand in hand, just like they did the other day.


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