When I was 5 my whole life changed, only at the time I didn’t realize it. I knew my mom was having a baby, but at that age it’s hard to really understand what that means. She made it to her due date, but something happened. There was no longer a heartbeat. My beautiful sister; her perfect little body born into this world, while her spirit was already rejoicing with God. Of course I was sad and confused. My parents gave me a doll, but I only remember sadness.
Years later, still not fully understanding, I kept wishing for a sibling. I begged my parents for a baby (which I’m sure was hard for them), there were many pennies thrown into fountains with a wish for a brother or sister whispered on them. I realized it wasn’t going to happen and embraced all that is great with being an only child.
I had the most loving and caring and wonderful parents on the planet and I had them all to myself.
Looking back, now that I’m a mom, I have no idea how my mom had the strength to deliver her full-term child knowing she wouldn’t be alive. Knowing there would be silence instead of a cry. Knowing she would go through the pain and walk out with empty arms. My mom is definitely the strongest person I know, she’s my daily inspiration.
Fast forward many years later after I found out my baby #2 was on the way, just a month after celebrating baby #1’s first birthday, I couldn’t help but start to worry about the sibling thing. I had no idea what to expect, I had never experienced that relationship. Some people told me they’d be great friends, being so close in age. Others told me they’d fight a lot. I just tried not to think about it and hoped for the best.
There was a lot of jealousy when she first came home. It was also hard for me to divide my time and attention. I still struggle with it. I want to watch and spend time with them both all the time!
Now that they’re older (though I cautiously say this with almost instant regret for fear just saying it out loud will end the greatness)… they’re playing together. Like really playing. It’s like they’re best friends. It’s finally happening. Sure they still fight, but they also create games or scenarios together. They figure out arguments on their own. They entertain each other on car rides and have big belly laughs. I cooked an entire dinner this week while they played in their rooms together and I only heard creativity and laughter. Yes, I cried a little. I also unwrapped and ate an entire Hershey’s kiss in peace. It was a big day.
While I don’t have a sibling, my vision and hope would be that they are always close. I want them to love each other and be friends, to be there for each other, share things, care. Tell each other things they don’t tell me. Keep each other safe. I’m sure this is every mom’s wish.
I’ve seen many versions of sibling relationships. Most were good, a few were amazing friends and encouraging examples of love. Several were strained through jealousy or competition or inability to communicate or move beyond certain events. These things I can never fully understand. Looking at it from my perspective, I feel siblings are placed together in this life. A life that is so very short. A life that is even more beautiful shared with family and friends. I also see so many turn away from the lifelong friend they were blessed with. It hurts my heart.
While my mind is on the whole sibling subject, l just want to encourage anyone reading this to not let another second pass without letting your sibling know you love them. If there’s something coming between you, try forgiveness. Try to just love them. Always cherish the very special gift you were given to walk through life with!