Siblings: sometimes you love them; sometimes you hate them. Sometimes you love them then hate them then love them then really hate them then love them again.
Kind of like being a parent, it’s the kind of relationship you can only understand if you have a sibling yourself. Just as you will love your child in the way that only a parent can, you’ll love your sibling(s) in a way that only a fellow sibling can.
April 10th is National Siblings Day, and while you won’t get the day off work, you can still commemorate the day by celebrating the most annoyingly lovable people in your life.
Though the holiday was founded in 1995, it wasn’t until recently that its popularity really took off, due in part to social media.
In recent years, you’ve likely become aware of the holiday through Facebook friends who use the day as an opportunity to share flattering photos of themselves and their siblings.
And who can blame them? Our relationships with our siblings are usually the oldest friendships we have—provided you and your siblings get along.
Growing up, I didn’t always get along with mine. I was the oldest of three and frequently played the role of third parent. I don’t blame my siblings for not always liking me. I mean, I definitely earned my reputation as resident tattle-tale.
However, my brother—the youngest—and I shared a similar sense of humor. Combine that with the fact that I was a “tomboy” growing up, and he and I frequently got along and enjoyed similar hobbies.
My sister and I fought constantly during our teens and early twenties over the things about which sisters usually fight—her stealing my clothes and eating my food.
It wasn’t until I got married and moved out that she and I became closer. With nothing to fight about, and with some patience and wisdom added to my years, we became good friends and we remain so today.
We don’t always agree on things, but we’re there for each other, and I hope we’ll always share the same trusting relationships we have now.
I hope that for my own children as well. For me, this wish is a relatively new one as we just added to our family last month. This will be the first year that my three-year-old son has siblings—siblings plural because we had twins.
So far, he has been a remarkably sweet and loving older brother. On any given day, he can be overheard saying that he “loves the babies” and that he thinks the babies are “cool.”
And that’s all a mother can hope for, really—that her children will love and support one another.
I know my kids are bound to have the same disagreements and fights that all siblings have, but, like I did with my own siblings, I hope they can come full circle and cherish the lifelong relationships they’ll share with one another. Because, for better or worse, your relationships with your siblings will follow you throughout your life.
So, on this year’s National Siblings Day, I will take a moment to appreciate my own siblings, but I will also take time to savor the new relationships my own children are forming.
I might even use the opportunity to post a flattering sibling photo.