A few weeks ago, I was at a girls night, and after saying something about my brother or sister, a friend asked what my parents did right to make us such good friends. It made me think about how we became such good friends, and whether or not it was because of the influence of my parents. I thought I would share my thoughts, since writing it down is always the best way for me to express myself.
I am the youngest of three children. My brother, David is six years older than me and my sister, Marni is three years older. From our old family movies, I know that my siblings loved me when I was a baby, however I did wonder about that as I got older. Since my sister and I are closer in age, we spent more time together and did get along for the most part, but we had our moments (we did share a room for about 10 years, so it was bound to happen). My brother and I were a different story. My brother loved teasing us girls, and I absolutely hated it. I was a really sensitive kid (still am, really), so I took everything far too seriously and always felt like I was being picked on. So you might wonder why I call my brother and sister my best friends. There were a lot of factors in the change in our relationships, but two of the biggest were space and time.
My relationship with my brother improved so much after he moved out (when I was 14, I think). I think it also helped that I was older, and finally able to enjoy his humour and see how much we had in common. When he moved to Edmonton, our relationship became even stronger because we saw even less of each other, so the times I got to see my big brother became extra special. We became concert buddies for a while (which I do miss now — we need to go to concerts again). Now we talk about new music,our shared love for The Office, Jimmy Fallon, Jim Gaffigan and send each other random snaps throughout the day (he had a fun time scaring me with Halloween themed ones last month).
Marni and I had a much easier time with our relationship. We stopped the typical sister fighting, and really enjoyed spending time together as teenagers. We spent many late nights talking about boys, watching Gilmore Girls over and over (we still do that now), and taking selfies (pre-iPhone, obviously). Nowadays our time together is a little different since we are married and Marni has three kids (I actually just typed two and remembered that she has three now — still having trouble remembering that!), but I love shopping with the kids in tow, or playing our game for picking a Gilmore Girls episode to watch (I pick two numbers, for the season and episode), and quoting the whole thing.
We spend a lot of time together as a family, and just as siblings too. We watch March Madness games together, play board games (and everyone else gets mad when Marni and I choose the entertainment category when we play Catchphrase), and now that 2/3 of us have kids, we spend a lot of time watching the kids be adorable.
Honestly, I’m still not sure my strong relationship with my siblings has anything to do with my parents. When we were younger, they encouraged us to be kind to each other and spend time together (I don’t think I was allowed to go anywhere without my sister until I was like 16), and continue to do that now with our monthly girls nights and regular family dinners. I think that my parents efforts combined with our times spent apart and each of us making an effort to be close have made us the tight-knit siblings we are today.
I know that many people don’t consider their siblings to be their best friends, and that makes me sad. I love that I can call my siblings at any time to help me out and they will do what they can for me. They are selfless, kind and really funny people who I am happy to call my friends. They also had a hand in creating four of my other best friends (and David married one of my best friends too). We just love each other, and that makes me happy. As my sister-in-law, Chantelle, and I used to say when we were roommates, I love us!
Do you have siblings? Have you seen a change in your relationship as you’ve gotten older?