Friday, August 10, 2012


I've always been very grateful to have a sister.  When we were young, we always had a playmate. When we were teens, we always had someone to complain to about our parents. When we were in our twenties, we always had someone to complain to about our parents, and our boyfriends/husbands/in-laws.  Now we are both mothers, and we have someone to gripe to about our children.  Who else will allow me to say, "I'm going to kill them!" and not remind me of my years of longing to be a parent, but instead recommend I refill my wine glass.

Only a sibling has that special connection and family memory- only a sibling knows the wealth of data behind the simple moan, "Mom, ugh.!"

There is plenty of research, literature and theory on sibling relationships.  I'm sure there are whole books about how to foster sibling relationships.  My completely unproven theory is the "Shared Enemy" one: siblings are close when they have a common cause, usually "mom is so crazy/dad is so annoying!" That worked in my case, anyway. (For the record, my mom is not crazy and dad is not annoying. Hi Mom! Hey Dad!)

When we received our referral for siblings, we did lots of preparation.  We put together lots of IKEA furniture and read lots of blogs and books. We planned: sleep strategies, holidays, transitions, media, race/heritage, hair, and on and on. But we didn't plan how we would raise siblings.

However unplanned, I seem to be doing really well fostering a close sibling relationship between Lily and Daniel.  I'm fulfilling the "mom is soooo crazy, right!?" role very well, thank you very much.  I've already caught the across the dining table sympathetic eyeroll, the conspiratory whispers, the "come on, let's go to our room" escape from mom strategy and the sibling translation of parent-speak.  And one of my children is still in diapers.  I can only imagine that sibling created shenanigans that will happen here when someone learns to talk properly and no longer needs help climbing stairs.

How are you raising your siblings, if you have them?
Are you close with your own siblings? Why? Why not?

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