Sibling Rivalry

05/Jan/2009

Before we had Buddy (formerly “Baby O” who fully responds to “Buddy” when called his nickname much to the chagrin of my parents, bless their “he won’t know his real name” souls) I used to joke about wanting another baby as a backup. “We only have ONE” I’d say when Mr. Flinger would twirl LB around until she nearly crashed in to something. “I"m only growing ONE replacement, you get that? Don’t break them.”

It was in poor taste, probably. It was inappropriate, sure. But it was kinda funny, comeon. It was.

Then I had my son. My “dear god what would I have ever done if I didn’t meet you” son. The little man who single-handedly made me a baby person. Who made “mama’s boy” an understatement. And I doted. I fell in love. I didn’t realize how possible it was for the heart to grow five sizes ala Dr. Seuss but it is true: It just does.

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And so we gave LB a sibling. He is a shadow to her, an annoyance at times, a friend, someone who cries and wakes her up at night.

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She introduces him with pride to everyone we meet.

She pushes him for no reason.

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She helps grab his sippy cup when it’s out of reach.

He tries to help her up when she falls down and hands her her shoes when she’s dressing- in her face - which annoys the shit out of her but it’s really very sweet.

Finally, finally, with the shoe thing, I came to understand twenty years of my relationship with my little sister.

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She was the baby I introduced with pride.

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She was a shadow, a friend, an annoyance at times. She took my clothes without asking. She wanted to be and do everything I was.

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I didn’t appreciate this until very very recently.

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We’ve grown up, my sister and I, we’ve had our own babies and husbands and houses. We have jobs and lives and thousand of miles in between us and we’ve never been closer.

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Siblings are those people who you have left when your mom and dad pass away. They are the tie to your childhood. They remember you in your best and worst times and they love you anyway, or because of it. If we’re lucky, LB and Buddy will have a relationship well in to their adult lives, spanning decades and miles and jobs and families. They’ll get together at Christmas and laugh about how mom always farted and Dad wrestled them at bed time. “And remember that house with the stairs? I just remember so many stairs. And the hill we slid down that one winter. Oh! And remember that place with all the stuffed bouncy toys and how we rammed in to each other and mom made me go wash up in the girl’s bathroom and I was just so mortified?”

“Yea. That was awesome.”

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Comments

  1. Oh my those children are BEAUTIFUL.

    By maggie on 2009 01 05

  2. OK, so the thing that I connected the most with in this post was the photo of you and your sis performing on the brick fireplace!  My best friend, Missy, and I did this ALL THE TIME when I was growing up in Phoenix- she came up a little higher than my waistline though.  Ahhh, good memories….

    By Michelle on 2009 01 05

  3. You said it perfectly. This is what I keep trying to explain to my (only-child) husband when he keeps suggesting that we should stick with our one baby, and asks why I am so set on having more when I am constantly telling him how hard it is having just the one (that’s after I kick him, of course). I want the relationship I have with my siblings for Toby.
    Oh, and that last picture? Possibly the most beautiful photo ever.

    By Kathie on 2009 01 06

  4. I hope you framed that last one.  It is beautiful.

    Beautiful tribute to siblings.  I think I will have a knot in my chest all day today because I’m missing my sisters.

    By MariaV on 2009 01 06

  5. I wish my brother and I had a closer relationship.  I’m not very high on his list of priorities these days.  I’m hoping that will change as we get older.

    By Assertagirl on 2009 01 06

  6. Oh man, you made me cry this morning. ::sigh::
    ME TOO. US TOO. THEM TOO.
    Love you, xo.

    By syd on 2009 01 06

  7. That was so sweet, I got that thing in my throat and kinda all watery in eyes.

    I LOVE the photo treatment you’re doing with the recent ones, so gorgeous. And the kiddos, adorable as usual.

    By skiplovey on 2009 01 06

  8. This is the sweetest post ever. I love seeing the photos of your childhood. Makes me want to dig out mine and fire up the scanner smile

    Also, in that photo of you and your sister in your leotards.  I literally gasped. Here is Boo in mine from my childhood. See any resemblence to the one your sis it sporting?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/82507634@N00/2950130098/

    smile

    By Andy on 2009 01 06

  9. Awwww man!  You just made me feel even more guilty for stopping at one!  All the things you said are the reasons I really wanted to have a sibling for Bethany, but I’m OLD and all those other excuses…  smile

    But, this still touched me because I know how important MY siblings are in my life.  Nothin’ like it - good, bad or ugly!

    By Katie Kat on 2009 01 06

  10. You’ve said something I’ve been trying and unable to put into words about the joy of siblings.  So sweet.  And that last shot!  Gah!  Gorgeous.

    By Jennifer, playgroups are no place for children on 2009 01 06

  11. Amen.

    Since I’m the big sister to two little brothers. Watching Princess with her little brother has shined a whole new light on my own childhood.

    I love my daughter with every fiber of my being, but that little boy.  Yup, he’s knocked me for a loop and I’m just twitterpated with him.

    You make me happy when you write.

    By Rachel on 2009 01 06

  12. What a great post! I didnt always have the best relationship with my sister and I hope, hope, hope, that my boys grow up with a close bond. Your right, they are the ones you have left when their might not be anyone else and I want to know that they really are there for each other. I’m hoping that the fact the oldest will already reach into the toilet to fish out the younger ones toys is a good sign. Even if it is disgusting!

    By the mrs. on 2009 01 06

  13. Love this, Leslie. smile

    By Erin on 2009 01 06

  14. “Siblings are those people who you have left when your mom and dad pass away.”

    Exactly and Amen.

    By Miss Britt on 2009 01 06

  15. SO TRUE!!!

    And, I had that same shirt - my brother had the little blue one that said “little brother.”  Oh, you really got me with this one.

    I really hope my children come to appreciate their siblings the way I have…years later.  I’m glad you do too!

    By Carrie on 2009 01 06

  16. I *LOVE* that last shot!  What a perfect picture of siblings!

    By Sarah S/C on 2009 01 07

  17. It’s all we can hope for, that the kids will always have each other. Forever and ever.

    By patois on 2009 01 07

  18. Yes…sibling love vs. rivalry.  A never ending battle at our house is what it is!  Now that the young one can fully communicate, things have relaxed…the older one is actually enjoying her sibling much more because he can finally respond to her bossiness and she can understand when No means NO.  It is amazing how we tend to “come around” with our siblings, I am glad that relationship is growing stronger between you and your sister. 

    Just a little note…funny that you guys call Baby O-Buddy.  We have been calling Ben by that name since he was a newborn.  He totally responds to both names…I love it!

    By Traci on 2009 01 07

  19. Ok. Leslie. It could be because it’s “that time” or I think it’s because it’s you…BUT I HAD TO TAKE MY GLASSES OFF SO I COULD CRY HARDER!!!!! This was the sweetest thing you have ever writtin about us/your children. Really. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy you made my soul. I love you to DEATH. Even 28(almost) years later I still have the “little sister syndrom”. I look up to you. I want to be just like you. I completely ADORE you. It’s sad….but it’s true. Your whole family means the world to me. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

    By sister flinger on 2009 01 08

  20. That last pic of your kids is simply wonderful! Gorgeous kids smile
    I got to your blog from the web awards site. Good luck!

    By Sheryl on 2009 01 08