My friend Katy who blogs at Learning As I Go and I were talking the other night about family. About siblings. About family dynamics and what those dynamics can look like in different families.
Families can be complicated and messy sometimes I have found. Even the most “normal” looking family can have some hidden things going on under the surface and behind closed doors. But then what is normal?
Families have morphed over the years and the families of today do not look like the families of years gone by. Growing up our family was the typical looking family of that era. Dad + Mom + 4 children = typical family unit. I loved being in a family with siblings and really did not realize how fortunate I was until years later when I looked back on all of the fun adventures we had as a family.
My brother, Mark, is two years older than me so that means that we were probably the closest when we were growing up together. He was ornery and mischievous and curious. Oh- so curious. I remember so many times when he brought home interesting “finds” that were forbidden to be brought inside the house. It is no wonder he went on to live out his passion and make his living as a wildlife biologist. He always had an inquisitive mind and loved to learn new things.
This is one of my favorite pictures from my childhood. I loved my brother (still do) and I don’t know what prompted this picture but it is obvious that I adored him and looked up to him. Even at that young age it is evident, don’t you think?
As we grew older that bond remained. I had good relationships with my older brother, Chris and my sister, Paula, but I have to admit that growing up Mark and I were best buddies and the age difference between us being what it was probably made that even easier. He had a easy going disposition and I think that pretty much jived with mine so it was a friendship between siblings that was natural.
Mark is brilliant. He really is. I imagine if he reads this post he will be shaking his head about that because he is a pretty humble guy but he has a quick mind and a quick wit to match. I remember many a time my mom saying to him after he had done something naughty that even though she was laughing he was still in trouble.
We went to the same high school together and even though he was a much better student than I was I never felt the comparison that many younger siblings might experience. He did his thing and I did mine and even the teachers who we had in common seemed to appreciate each of us for the individual that we were. I think that speaks volumes for those teachers, don’ t you? We both had our own strengths and I am glad that mine were recognized and not compared to his. After all – he could not boast that he was a Glenn Tone, could he?
We had fun together and quite honestly that is what I remember most about my childhood. We just had fun. I mean look at this picture! How many high schoolers would let their sister ride on their shoulders through the house?
Mark and I also attended the same college and while he lived off campus in a trailer that probably should have been condemned it was always comforting to know that he was there. We talked recently about a time when he invited Chris and I over for dinner. We had a frozen pizza and I think I hurt his feelings a bit by not realizing that that meal accounted for probably 75% of his food budget that week. Heck, maybe even that month. It was a treat for him and I probably acted like an ungrateful sister and acted like it was no big deal. I officially and formally apologize here and now for that. I hope he forgives the shallow and ungrateful Beth Ann from that day.
Yes, I have been blessed with many wonderful memories of times with my brother over the years. The time that we get to spend together is much briefer these days with the geographical separation but today I was feeling a bit nostalgic when I ran across these pictures and felt compelled to write a bit about sibling love. I love all of my siblings – no doubt about it. What a wonderful thing to know that we can always depend upon one another.
How do you relate to your siblings? Are your memories of growing up happy ones like mine or are there ones you would rather just forget? Do you maintain ties as you grow older or let those go by the wayside? I would love to hear from you today so please feel free to leave a comment. Remember it is all for Comments for a Cause.