sibling <3

3 Sep

To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. – Clara Ortega

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Best night ever = sibling sleepover–all of us were there. so cool.

Let me just start by saying that I cannot imagine my life without my siblings.  As the oldest of 10, I frequently get asked what it was like to grow up with so many kids and whether or not I liked it.  Like is not the right word for it.  Love is more like it.  That’s not to say there weren’t times, especially in those teenage angst-y years when I wished for my own space, my own time.  But I truly can’t imagine a life with fewer siblings.  What if my parents had stopped at __ (insert a number here)?  Then ____ wouldn’t have happened (insert poignant family memory here).

I  remember most of my mom’s pregnancies, most of their births.  I remember hearing them calling Oma to come watch us, staying up whispering with Val until the phone rang and we found out if we had a new brother or sister (and a bug sucked Val’s brain out).  I remember going to the hospital, seeing them, holding them, being so sad that I couldn’t hold Leanne (who was very sick and in NICU for a few days).  I remember rocking them to sleep some nights, stroking their downy little heads, amazed by the fact that such a small body was going to grow into a person.   I remember changing diapers, babysitting and having to clean puke (you’re welcome, Kyle), waking them from nightmares, reading stories, playing games, building forts, swimming, hiking with Opa and picking the most delicious wild raspberries.  I remember housing them when they were in trouble, trying to get them out of trouble, knowing they were trying to get me out of trouble, laughing because we knew we were in trouble no matter what anyone did, so we may as well have fun.  I remember them as babies, as little kids, and for the older ones, them as teenagers and beyond.

Most of the time, I see them at the ages they were when I left for college–it’s like they’re frozen in time in my head.  Sometimes it’s weird to see them in person and realize how much they’ve changed, how much we’ve all aged.  They’re not babies anymore in the traditional sense of the word, even though to me, they will always be babies–my babies.  We have seen each other through a lot of stuff, both good and bad.  They are my whole life.  My whole world.  When Eric calls them his brothers and sisters, I melt.  Absolutely melt.  Today he said something about Josh being a little brother, and I could’ve cried I was so happy.

When we first started dating, I remember having so many conversations with him after trips to my family’s house.  “You guys don’t have enough room on the couches for everyone to sit there’s so many people,” he’d incredulously say.  “Hmmm I never really thought about it.  Ya just sit on the floor,” I’d reply.  “It’s so loud!” he’d comment (hahaha funny coming from Eric).  “Oh really?  This is probably why I always have the TV or radio on–too quiet if it’s just us sitting around,” I’d say.  We’d leave his house and I’d have a million and one questions.  “So you guys couldn’t just go out back and play a soccer game or whatever? You had to get neighbor kids, huh?”  I’d ask.  “It must’ve been very quiet at your house growing up?” I’d inquire.  I couldn’t (and still can’t really) fathom just one sibling.   When we talk about having a family now, Eric talks about 1 or 2–I think about 4 or 5.  I have the fondest memories of being raised in a big family.  I want my children to look back with the same memories that I have.  I love big families (well the ones who are “doing it right” anyway).

They say that when you have a baby, your life changes.  That you will do anything to protect that little being.  That there is no greater love.

I don’t know how that can be true.  That there is no greater love.  Because I truly cannot imagine any greater love than the love I have for my siblings.  I would move heaven and earth for them.  They are my babies.  I want to take care of them.  To talk to them, to teach them things, show them things.  To be there as they experience things.  To hold them when their hearts are broken and they need a shoulder to cry on.  To relive the funny things that we’ve done together and to laugh and play jokes and mess around with each other.

I suppose mother-child love is different than sibling love.  Sometimes I get really sad/scared that I may never know the mother-child love.  Which makes me so thankful that I have so many little siblings to love.  I like to think that my special relationship with each of them is a hybrid–somewhere between mother-child and sibling, given our age difference (at least with the younger ones).  When I am with them, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have such a beautiful family.  ❤ my siblings muchisimo.

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One Response to “sibling <3”

  1. Martina Bex September 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    love all the old photos 🙂

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