We are family

Yesterday was Siblings Day? It must be true because the Facebooks have told me so. I have never really heard of Siblings Day but ok, I am down with that. I don’t talk about my sibs very much on the blog. Mostly this is because I have sort of stringent rules for myself about what gets included on the blog, and lots of times the sibling stuff falls on the other side of that line. It’s weird because really, they have made me who I am in such a huge way. I couldn’t really define myself without talking about them, they have been so influential in my life. So sure, let’s talk about my sibs. I have two brothers and one sister, and I am the youngest. And yes, all that stuff you hear about birth order and how that affects people’s personalities is so true in our case. So true that every time I read something about birth order, it almost weirds me out. I am like DO THE BIRTH ORDER PEOPLE KNOW US? They say that youngest kids are supposed to be “uncomplicated.” Put another way, it is true that I am a little bit of a simpleton. I am not saying I am one-dimensional but I would say that my siblings seem a lot more complex, as people. Me, I am just the little baby dodo bird, goofing my way through life. It’s a bit galling, really. I’m not saying that this birth order business works for everyone- try to apply it to Nordic Boy’s family and don’t nothing match at all.  But for us? Just read an article on birth order types and you pretty much will know my family and how we relate to each other. As the youngest I definitely got more attention, from my parents but also they all sort of paid baby-attention to me too. That was the up side for me. The down side for me though was that the three of them (all of them very close in age) were tight with each other in a sort of peer group way that I never was. I spent all of my childhood trying desperately to tag along, be a part of their clique. I think that every person has ways that they think of themselves as outsiders, and that was one way that I did it. They were tight- they all immigrated to this country together, they all went to the same high school together. They even all went to the same college together. Man, I wanted to be a part of that stuff. The plight of the littlest kid: to always long to play with the big kids. To be a big kid.

Anyway. Here are some things about my sis and two bro-hams. I could write a novel about them, so this will be hard to keep short.

My oldest brother was basically born an adult. A little 40-year-old man masquerading as a child when we were little. I remember on Christmas morning, we would all get up and run downstairs to get our gift-ripping on, and he would insist on retiring to the dining room to sit down and eat a proper breakfast first before we could get started. It drove us bonkers. As a kid, he listened to NPR and read the newspaper. Like, really. On the other hand, he is the smilingest mothereffer you will ever meet in your life. He just has a face that smiles, and twinkly, cheery eyes. He is the best audience you could ask for, for a cut up like I was as a kid. He has a great, contagious laugh that comes easily and often. Of all my siblings (and we all enjoy a good chortle, it is a strong family trait), I have laughed the most with this bro of mine.

When we were growing up, my sister was the tough one. Like, she would knock your ass into next week (verbally, but trust me, that was enough) if you crossed her. I remember walking down the street with her and her getting catcalled: you really do not want to catcall my sister because she will yell back at you in a way that will jack your shit up for days. She’s also super self-sufficient and always has been. This is the person you want on your apocalypse team when the zombies come. For this reason among many others, I was in love with my sister when I was a little kid. Like, I wanted nothing more than to be just like her and copy everything she did and dress like her and act like her and be her. It was a huge leap for me when I was a teenager to realize that my sister was a real person with flaws and problems and stuff. She had always seemed invincible to me before that. She’s not invincible to me any more, but she is still the one to have on that apocalypse team. No question. I have a very particular tenderness for my sister that I can’t quite explain. Is that just a sister thing? I don’t know.

Bro #2 is the charmer of my family. Everyone loves my brother- all he has to do is walk into a room. He is magnetic and cool. When I was in college and I would introduce my girlfriends to him, they would always remark on his cuteness, and I would say: “do not date my brother, please.” Not that he wasn’t datable. Just, I didn’t want my friend-life overlapping my bro-life, because, ew. Of all of my family, I think he is the one who continues to see me as a little kid the most. I can almost see the surprise on his face every time I do something grown up or hard.

My siblings are all so different from each other. They all have very different jobs, have had very different personalities in their chosen partners, have made very different life choices. They all like different music, and have different hobbies, and are smart at different things. I am always fascinated with families who have a ton of things in common, because we are not like that at all. We are all over the map. Sometimes I wonder how we could all be from the same two parents, we are so different. There are some things I could say about my sis and two bros, though, across the board.

They are all really friendly, charming people. Some are more mouthy than others with the chit chat, but if you meet any one of them, they are just open, friendly, come in and sit-a-spell sort of folk. They are all compassionate people. All of them spend most of their time, in one way or another, in pursuits where they are helping people. They are all funny, funny, funny. Just witty as hell. They’re also all wicked smart. All in different ways, but still: good brains.

So they do have some major things in common after all.  It is in these ways that I want to be just like my sibs. Still wanting to play with the big kids, I guess. Some things never change.


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