Sep 26, 2008

The Sibs

When I received the proofs of the nearly 1,0000 photos the photographer took at our wedding, the first one I went looking for--literally--was this one. And when I found it I let out a contented sigh and let the other 999 photos sit and wait while I looked at this photo and smiled for about five minutes.

There is a bond between siblings that's totally unlike any other. It's unique and special and it endures almost anything that comes along in life.

Despite my childhood fantasy that my folks would drop the other five kids off at an orphanage so I could have some peace and quiet and a room of my own, I'm glad they didn't. It was nice having siblings who were my surrogate parents when the real ones were busy and who let me spend summers at their house after they got married and moved away. Sometimes they even took up a just cause on my behalf, such as when Judy lobbied on my behalf until I got permission to go on that date with Harold in his hot GTO. Okay, so the date with Harold wasn't exactly a noble cause but you know what I mean.

Oddly enough, when I was growing up I was fiendishly jealous of a girl in my class named Anne because she was an only child. Anne had her own bedroom painted whatever color she wanted and her school papers were always proudly posted on the fridge door. Best of all, Anne had her own exclusive set of parents who thought she was the smartest, most talented, most clever kid in the world. Anne The Only Child was clearly the apple of her parents' eyes.

On the other hand, over at our house there were no apples in our parents eyes. With six kids to choose from, there was just too damn much fruit in the orchard. And unlike Anne with her own personal bedroom and her own stash of personal stuff, our house operated as a collective where most things were owned by the group. None of us possessed much of anything that we didn't have to share with at least one other person in this photo. I was almost a teenager before I got to sleep in a bed without a sister in it and was in college before I got to brush my teeth without somebody standing on the other side of the door yelling at me to get out of the bathroom.

As for any one of us being the smartest, best, brightest kid in the world? Fuhget about it. No matter what I did as a kid one of my siblings had already been there, done that and usually with a lot more flair than me.

It's been a running joke between us for the past fifty years to figure out which of us Mom or Dad liked best at any particular time. Except I'm not joking when I say I was always Dad's favorite.

The rest of them will just have to get over it.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful insight into a fine family, Susan. Thanks for taking time and sharing your thoughts with those of us who suffer from the 'only child' syndrome.