“Mommy, I’m a big brother!” Jayden exclaims as he shows off his new “big boy” skill of being able to swing all by himself. This recent, cute mix-up for Jayden between the ideas of being a “big boy” and “big brother” have prompted some discussions in our family about what it means to have a sibling. It’s so ironic, in a strange way, that these discussions are occurring during the same week when I’ve had the photo challenge topic of siblings in the back of my mind.
Jayden also very sweetly asked last week if I would “grow a little baby sister in my belly.” There are many things that we are fortunate to be able to give to Jayden, but I felt powerless in that moment as I realized that this is one request that we have no way of honoring for him. Doug and I each have a sibling and long to give that “gift” to our child, too.
Both of us are the older siblings, too. Doug’s brother is two years younger than he is and my sister is three years younger than I am. We both spent plenty of our childhood entrenched in that love/hate relationship that is typical of most siblings.
I think what makes a sibling relationship so unique and special is how long it lasts. There is no one else in our life who can truly quite understand our roots quite as much as a sibling. They’ve been there since the beginning. And long after our parents are gone, they provide a link to our parents and our past.
I also don’t want to neglect another important part of Doug’s family that joined him later in his life. Doug and his brother also have two stepsisters who are around the same age. Doug’s mom remarried after he was finished with college and they had two stepsisters who became part of the family, also. The four of them never lived under the same roof because of their ages, so their relationship is a unique step-sibling relationship.
I recently read this quote and it really touched me. Not just for the truth I felt it spoke for me and my sister. But also for what we long for Jayden to have. He speaks of having a baby sister (which switches back and forth with a baby brother on any given day!) because he longs for something, too, that he can’t quite yet put into words. He wants someone to read books to, a little brother to tell jokes with, a little sister to share secrets with. (And yes, while he is already great at sharing his toys, he’ll also be great at giving a good jab in a brother’s side or pulling a sister’s braid!).
Up next week for week #5: Life