there's a day devoted to "siblings"? who knew? i didn't.
we are 8. i am the eldest. forced to take responsibility for 7 other children when i was just a child myself, i grew up with a false sense of authority, of leadership, and guilt.
whatever went wrong, and a lot went wrong!- it was my fault.
my closest sibling is my brother paul. we are "irish twins"- just a year apart. we made a great and powerful team when we weren't at each other's throats. in many ways we behaved like two eldest children, birth order wise, and we still do. hear and obey, the rest of you.
my sister beth is next. an island unto herself, she floated on her own plane of existence while the rest of the chaos swirled around her. she was the perfect middle child- neutral, detached, irresponsible. although she is now one of my dearest friends, we had almost nothing in common and very little communication other than sharing a bedroom for most of our growing up years.
the little boys (3 boys in 3 years- how could they do that to me!?) were constantly in trouble. fighting, screaming, breaking things, wetting their beds (HOW WAS THIS MY PROBLEM?), having bad table manners, losing things, dropping things, running away, getting injured….all of this was placed directly on my shoulders.
at the tail end of this tribe are the two "little girls". they were my babies. by the time they were born, mom was worn out. the little girls were my darlings, my very own play-dollies, so sweet and cherub-like compared to the little boys. i loved them passionately and fiercely.
and so we grew.
to all my siblings, i just want to tell you, from the vantage point of now being grown up, that i love you all. i still feel responsible for you. paul is still my friend and buddy. beth is now fully on this planet and one of my dearest friends. the little boys have grown up, mostly, and still require much prayer- especially my fair-haired boy (where are you now, little man?) the little girls have become lovely women and dear friends.
we are many, and we are fantastic. we are strong and we are smart. despite the disadvantages of our childhood, we have so many treasured memories. the hard times made us strong.