Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Sibling Relationships

Years ago my sister and I were estranged for a time, for reasons that don’t matter anymore. It wasn’t an obvious separation as we lived thousands of miles apart, but the situation upset my mother, as she had been an only child and always wished she’d had a sister she could be close to.

I remember she wrote us a letter at the time, hoping we’d resolve our differences. The reason I mention this is that I feel myself thinking along the same lines as my mother. My children are not estranged, but they’ve had their moments when they’ve not been as involved in each other’s life. It was a delight to see them laughing and joking the other night, enjoying the familiarity of family, of siblings.

The episode that caused so much laughter started on Friday when my son dropped two of his kids off at his sister’s for the weekend. If you’ve read my blogs at all you’d know my daughter is a minimalist and a bit of a clean freak. She has an ongoing issue with her daughter about cleaning up her room.

My son, brave soul that he is, stepped into the fray by telling his niece that her room was her space and she should be allowed to keep it the way she wanted. Then he went away for a weekend alone with his wife, blissfully unaware of the trouble he’d caused.

At some point on the weekend the issue of the messy room, the borrowed clothes came to the forefront and my granddaughter threw her uncle’s quote in her mother’s face. Oops.

So there we were Sunday night, feeling full and at ease after a beautiful turkey dinner, when my daughter brought up the subject of the advice HER brother had given to HER daughter. She nicely told him he had no right to interfere in her parenting and undermine what she was trying to get her daughter to do.

To everyone’s shock, he immediately called said daughter to the room and told her he was wrong and apologized to his sister. It was so unlike him to be so eloquent, so sincere. Not that he usually comes across as rude or insincere, but it was just not like him. He’s not usually so quick to admit he’d been wrong and he tends to be the less talkative of the two siblings.

Everyone felt the same and he then had to suffer all the jokes about what happened to him on the weekend. Suffice it to say, this was the first weekend he and his wife had had away in...well, ever. Alone I mean. Camping trips with the kids don’t count.

It was such fun watching him and his sister joke and tease each other, and it made me think of my Mom and her letter. I get what she meant, and I like knowing my children are close and will be there for each other once I am gone.

Since I don’t intend on going anywhere soon, they better keep it up. LOL

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