Thursday, September 5, 2013


I always wanted a brother or a sister.  I think, at one point in my childhood, I asked my mom for one, and she informed me I already had a brother and a sister.  After that, I realized I needed to be more specific -- I started asking for a BABY brother or sister.

You see, my "brother and sister," while they are biologically related to me, they are not my siblings.  We did not grow up in the same house.  We did not grow up with the same parents.  We did not play together, fight together, collaborate together, or blackmail each other.  We did not share childhood memories -- good or bad.  We did not watch each other endure the bad haircuts, crushes, sleepover schemes, or cooking mishaps that siblings share.  Simply put, we were not -- we are not -- siblings.

I knew I was missing something throughout elementary, middle, and high school.  Other students would ride home with a sibling at the end of the day -- even if they seemed to have not even looked at the sibling the entire day -- they rode home together.  Other students had teachers ask them at the beginning of the year, "You're Jane Doe?  Are you John's sister?"  Other students were acquainted with students in other grades -- they knew people who were friends of their brother or sister.  Other students attended different concerts, sporting events, clubs, and sales -- they had siblings who were participating.  I knew I was missing something that nearly everyone else experienced.

While I knew I was missing something, I figured that in adulthood, everyone is an adult.  The label of being an "only child" was prominent in grades k-12 because there simply were no other Sanden red-heads around.  But I knew, once I was in college, or working, or married, and beyond, siblings wouldn't matter anymore.  Sort of like honors from high school -- they are a big deal at the time, but then you kind of forget about them in the 80 years following.  I was mistaken.

Even in adulthood, I am sorely missing something.

Even when interests, jobs, life paths, hobbies, and locations may be total opposites, adult siblings have the same parents, grandparents, cousins, high school, and home town.  Despite the dozens of close friends a person might make in college and beyond, a sibling is someone you keep in touch with -- even if merely out of obligation, or by accident -- and that sibling will always be in your life.

Friends are people you choose.  Siblings are people you have.

Siblings are people that you know so well that you understand their humor, you understand where they come from, you might have an idea as to why they do the things they do, you know how they were raised, and you know if and when they rebelled from those teachings.

Siblings are people you watched dream as children, struggle as adolescents, push boundaries in high school, meander in college, explore the dating world, maneuver the work world, and tackle the romantic world.

One of my favorite songs/speeches says, "Siblings are your best link to your past and the ones most likely to stick with you in the future."

I have a close view of several people's relationships with their siblings.  Most notably, I see my dad with his, my mom with hers, my husband with his, and my mother-in-law with hers... and I have to say, I don't understand it.  But I also must say, I completely envy it.

My mom and her siblings have chosen completely different paths in life -- and they go through the ebb and flow of being close, and more distant... of talking every day, and talking only a few times a year.  But the fact remains, through it all, they are still her big brother and little sisters, and they have a bond that I do not understand.

When I was a child, and I asked my parents for a baby brother or sister, I'm pretty sure I was more excited about the BABY part of my request.  I wanted a live baby doll at the house -- a baby sibling seemed like the best way to accomplish that.

Now, several decades later, as I am actually expecting my first baby, I must confess that as excited as I am for this child, as much as I will fiercely love, and care for him or her for the rest of my life... my real accomplishment as his/her mother will be when I give him/her a sibling.

This pregnancy is such a blessing.
My second (and third, and fourth, and more) pregnancy will be my dream-come-true.

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