Day 15: Siblings

Siblings are special people. They’re who you share your parents with. They’re who you share a lifetime’s worth of memories with–of childhood and upbringing,  of the little rituals and traditions that make every household unique, of quarrels and sulks, and of dinnertime jokes and banter. They share with you a substantial part of your value system and beliefs. They also  share with you the tacit knowledge of those skeletons that lurk in every family’s cupboard.

When I look back, I see my relationship with my brother in three distinct, staccato phases. I was about four when he was born, and I remember feeling absolutely delighted and being so possessive of him that I would refuse to let visitors touch him or coo at him too much 🙂

The next phase was when I couldn’t stand him and his impish ways one bit. I thought of him as a nuisance, an enfant terrible who was always out to embarrass me in front of my friends, someone who always put a spoke in the wheel of all my plans deliberately or unwittingly. We fought like wildcats, often coming to blows when our parents were not around. Our freestyle wrestling matches would go on for quite some time until someone arrived on the scene to save one from the other. It was fortunate that neither of us got really hurt in any of those bouts.

I don’t remember the last time we fought like that, though–I have no idea how the second phase gave way to the third and final phase, how he suddenly transformed from being a thorn in the side to my very best friend and how sibling rivalry changed into sibling revelry. All I know is that suddenly we began to talk–and giggle and gossip– a lot. I found I could confide in him about my sundry problems and stuff –because he no longer tattled 😀

Over the years I benefited from his wisdom, pragmatism and honest advice. I was constantly surprised at how level-headed he was– I was older in years but somewhere along the line I began to get the feeling that he was wiser. His wit and humour helped me sail through a couple of difficult years.

When he went away to another city for higher studies, I felt terribly lonely. We wrote to each other very frequently( pre-internet days!).   I am sure he was–still is– closer to me than to our parents–the same was certainly true for me too.

We are, I am happy to say, still as close as we used to be. He continues to be a source of support and encouragement. He also continues to be a wonderful sounding board. We still talk a lot –and laugh a lot while doing all the talking 🙂

Siblings are a blessing. I have certainly always seen my brother as a blessing. When I am counting my blessings, he figures prominently in the list.

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10 Responses to Day 15: Siblings

  1. I can relate to this.
    My daughter was nine and she was an only child till then.
    We had practically decided that there would be no more kids, so that with our means, and resources we could give her the best possible.
    The strategy failed. She was miserable, being alone and without a sibling.
    From the age of seven when she could express these feelings, she would remind us of what she lacked.
    We yielded. Nine years after her birth, we had our son.
    Today both are full grown adults. She is 36, he is 27.
    The bond between the two is amazing. She literally mothers him.
    They are thick friends today.

    My wife is one of four sisters. They fight like cats but the family bonds are unbreakably strong.
    They are inseparable during family functions and get-togethers.

    Unfortunately, I have been unable to develop strong ties with my two brothers.
    In nature, we are like the three corners of an equilateral triangle.
    We were in touch during my parents lifetime. After they passed on, we have sort of drifted away from each other. Sad but true.

    • From what I’ve seen so far, it appears to me that siblings are closest when there are only two of them. Additional siblings in the picture seem to complicate the equation–in particular if there are three of them, two of them are apt to be closer, due to gender or disposition or nothing in particular, so that the third one feels a little left out. Even in multiple siblings scenarios, I suppose it is easier when there are an even number of them, say four, because then if two of them gang up, the remaining two will be forced to come closer too.

  2. R's Mom says:

    And I have an elder bro who is just the same as yours 🙂

  3. Sapna says:

    I have a younger brother and I can so relate to this. Siblings are indeed a blessing

  4. Fem says:

    I have a younger sister. I wasn’t very sure about her presence when she was born, but I love her beyond anything once she had plunked herself right inside the family. I too think she is a blessing. 🙂

  5. chattywren says:

    I have a younger brother and we were very close when we were young. Even now, I can bare my heart to him whenever we meet! Siblings are special indeed.

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