Of spring break and siblings

Is there anything better than siblings?  3G has his spring break this week, and Sister came home for the weekend so she’d get to see him (her break isn’t for another two weeks), so we had the whole seven of us together for 24 hours.  Saturday afternoon was hilarious, with a game of Spoons followed by Catch-Phrase.  The spoons (plastic!) were flying and so were the laughs.

Thinking about it today, however, I realize that my experience isn’t necessarily the norm.  It amazes me that in some families, siblings can’t stand being around each other, constantly fight, and prefer to find friends outside the home.  In other families, the siblings may not dislike each other, but they don’t have any kind of relationship, being too busy with their own activities to know what the other one is doing or feeling.

Siblings are home-grown friends!  While my siblings and I didn’t always get along perfectly growing up, we still loved each other and enjoyed playing, studying, and growing together.  We still get on each others’ nerves sometimes (all right, all right, mostly me getting on Sister’s nerves – sorry, Sis), but the best friends are people who can be themselves with each other, forgive the others’ mistakes, and encourage each other to grow past their faults.  My siblings and I love spending time together, whether it’s playing a game, eating dinner, or just a general gab fest.  What with two kids away at college now, breaks are usually full of jabbering to get everybody caught up (sort of!) on what’s been going on with everyone else!

Don’t read me wrong.  I’m not saying that siblings are the only friends you need, should have, or should want.  I have plenty of friends outside the family, between church, work, and volunteering.  Some of them even feel like family.  What I am trying to say is that I’m disappointed in families where the siblings can’t stand each other and the parents don’t seem to know how to encourage them to change that.

How does it start?  I don’t even know, having early learned that siblings are great playmates when treated with respect and love.  Is it because siblings are separated into classes at school, rarely seeing each other, and then vying for parental attention when they get home?  Is it because their school friends are jealous of their time and would rather snub all the other people in their own household and those of their friends in favor of spending time with the friend?  I doubt this is the only factor, because some children don’t seem to be infected by the general aversion to siblings.

I feel sorry for people of all ages who have never learned what a joy it can be to have siblings.  For the only children out there, hopefully you’ve found friends with siblings that you can enjoy, or have cousins that can help fill their place.  And God does have reasons for not giving everyone siblings, just as He has reasons for everything else He does.  For those of you who have siblings, I challenge you to cherish them this month, whether they (and you) are still in the home nest or not.  Think about what nice things you can do for them, how you can make your relationship more friendly if necessary, and just enjoy them in general.

Especially those that are home on spring break!

Explore posts in the same categories: Friends, Homeschooling, My Family, Siblings

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