How siblings make life better

Dear Daughter,

In just a few hours, we will find out if this baby in my belly is your brother or sister. I know that you’re hoping for a brother, so you can fulfill your longtime dream of hitting him in the head with a pillow when he’s 5 years old. But either way, you’re winning the jackpot.

You’ve gone 8 years without a brother or sister, so suddenly having one may be a bit of a culture shock for you. But there is something incredibly special about having a sibling, and I cannot wait for you to experience that.

My childhood was very different from yours, in that I’ve never known what it’s like to have gone without a sibling. My brother is 2 years older than me and my sister is 17 months younger than me. So, until I went away to college, I had a sibling at my side ALL THE TIME, whether I liked it or not. But usually I liked it.

Your siblings are special because they’re the only people in the whole entire world that you’re permitted to love and hate at the same time. (And by “hate” I mean “bicker with,” not actually “hate.”) They will get on your nerves and you’ll get on theirs, but you’ll never want to leave them. One minute, you might be in an all-out brawl with them, and the next you’re laughing together while watching cartoons and sharing a bowl of cereal.

Come to think of it, I wonder if sibling relationships prepare us for marriage… unconditional love practiced in the midst of real life.

I never fought with my siblings much. My brother and I weren’t crazy close while growing up but he was always very respectful to me. He didn’t treat me the way a big brother typically treats his little sister. He didn’t tease me or make fun of me much. It’s like he knew I was too fragile for that. Plus, he’s just a good guy. I always knew that I could go to him to make me laugh or to help me see a different perspective on a situation. I still place a high value on my brother’s opinion.

My sister and I were so close that, growing up, people thought we were twins. We kind of looked alike, but we also did the things that twins do: we finished each other’s sentences and could know what the other was thinking just by glancing at them. We fought every once in a while because our personalities are so different, but for the most part we were BFFs, and still are. She’s younger than me but gives me the best advice because she knows me better than anyone does. Like my brother, she too makes me laugh and has this incredible ability of assuring me that everything’s going to be okay.

Your relationship with your sibling will be very different from the relationship I had with mine, not only because of the age gap but also because every person and family is different. But I guarantee that no one you have ever met or will ever meet will come close to the bond you’ll have with that little brother or sister. I guarantee your sibling will change your life for the better… because that’s what siblings do.

Love,
Mom

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