One of the things I’m coming to appreciate as an adult is the relationship I have between my siblings. In our family, we have quite the spread of children. Steven, Lydia, Aaron, Mark, Julia and Joshua. Ages from 14-30. The four eldest siblings (SLAM) have had the benefit of growing up with each other, as children, while also being the ‘big brother/sister’ to the youngest two in the family.
The more people I come in contact with, the more I realize it is a rare gift to maintain solid relationships with your siblings as you progress into adulthood. I’ve met far more individuals with estranged sibling relationships; going years without speaking/seeing each other, than I have people who maintain close relationship/contact with their siblings or immediate family.
As a man, we refer to our closest friends “as a brother” if there’s an inseparable bond. To be able to look at your ‘actual’ brother and maintain this close bond of friendship/brotherhood is a rare gift. Obviously, the same applies to sisters, Lydia.
Over the past few years, I’ve gotten to know my siblings on a much deeper level than when we were children. Instead of childhood bickering, we now bicker about religion and politics. Kidding. Completely. We now talk about issues and topics that face us as adults; relationships, career moves, finances, goals, weekends, travel and other romps.
It’s hard to explain the feeling of gratitude I have for the connection shared within our family. On one hand, it feels warm and friendly. On the other hand, there’s something incredibly calming about knowing you have a support team of amazing people who love you from the bottom of their hearts. There’s no corner of the world or situation that intimidates me, because I know that my foundational rock remains intact and will always provide love and support.
If I could tell the younger siblings one thing (again…) it would be to appreciate each other for where they are at in their lives and to see each other as long-term friends, rather than mortal enemies fighting for the attention of our mother.
A healthy relationship among siblings is one of the greatest gifts children can give to their parents. The ability to maintain and protect these relationships is a very good indicator of how your children will handle future relationships among friends, lovers and others. In a strange sort of way, the relationship I share with my siblings is a good reflection of the connection I look for in friends and/or a lover; living life, one day at a time, and sharing the memories, moments and struggles along the way. No burden is too heavy. Every laugh is hearty. And there’s a shared bond of loving trust that knows you’ve forever got somebody to live life with as it happens.
Steve – I seem to have more in common with you every day. It’s been a pleasure to have watched you traverse your way across CA and continually reach new levels of success. You taught me how to see the color in life.
Lydia – I often refer to you as my ‘opposite’ when it comes to career moves. However, you’re a rock of reason for me that tends to keep me on the right path. I love, love, love your outlook on life and the sense of quirky humor you have. “Help yourself, Pooh!”
Tyler – You probably don’t know this, but one of the happiest moments of this past trip home was when you and I spent the morning together, talking and spending time together. It means a lot that we’re able to jam together and get along better than we have in the past.
Mark – It sort of goes without saying, but you’re definitely the ‘favorite’ sibling between all of us. I’ve come to respect your fearless (sometimes mindless…) attitude and ability to make your own path. You’ve got an incredible knack for wisdom at your age. There’s nobody on the face of the earth that makes me laugh the way you do.
Julia – My little bird. I’ve never met a 16 year-old who is so sure of herself (opinionated) and clever as you are. I love the fact that we can spend time together, go shopping, or even learn a few new tricks about proper makeup application. I’m working on the foundation…
Josh – I won’t lie, I am completely fascinated by the world you live in. More than anything, I hope you are able to grow and develop from the relationship you have within your family. I’m projecting that you turn out to be the tallest Plaat in the family. Meet the bell, kid.