There really does seem to be a day for everything. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Today, April 10, is National Siblings Day. We celebrate Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents’ Day, so why not our brothers and sisters? Our relationship with our siblings is arguably the longest lasting relationship of our lives after all. They are our first friends. We grow up with them, raise families, care for aging parents, and more. It’s definitely a relationship to nurture and celebrate.
My brother and I are “almost twins.” We were born just 10 months apart, in the same calendar year. This meant we were in the same grade all through school and knew all the same people. We moved in different circles and had our own friends and interests, but through it all we had each other’s back. Because that’s what siblings do.
For the record, we fought like cats and dogs when we were little. Physical fights. Throwing things. Yelling. We hated each other. But no one else could say a mean word. Because, in spite of the drama, we loved each other. Actually, he had a bad habit when he was young of threatening to run away. He’d take off in a store, or race down the street, making it as far as the bush on the corner where he could hide. Mom knew not to worry, but I’d be in tears!!! I couldn’t imagine what I’d do without my little brother in my life.
The closeness in our ages definitely helped us to bond, and that makes me worry sometimes about our kids. My step-son will be 19 next month. He was 11 when Boo was born. Don’t get me wrong – they love each other, no question. But with such an age difference it’s been harder for them to find ways to bond. Video games are a common ground, but finding ones that are appropriate for the young one and interesting enough for the old one can be a challenge. And encouraging patience in a teenager dealing with a younger sibling? That can be a struggle! But every year it gets a little easier, and I know they’ll have each other’s back when needed.
My brother and I? We don’t talk much these days, but we don’t really need to. Our bond is strong. I know he’s there if I need him. And I hope he knows the same about me.