Pinky Pie

Jealousy, joy, sibling friendship & Me

Posted on: February 21, 2011

My mad-hatter children.

Knowing Maggie, her husband Mike and her brother Michael would be together in Atlanta over the weekend, I kept saying how jealous I was.

Maggie reminded me of how jealous she was when we went to visit Michael in Atlanta. She said I told her then to, in effect, “suck it up.” That’s the same advice she gave to me.

The truth is I would have jumped on a plane in a second if I had been invited. But I also knew that this time together as siblings is very important to them without their Mommy (or Daddy, not that we have been called that for a long time).

Michael was born six years and 363 days after Maggie and a year and a week for after brother Matt died. Like any little brother worth his salts, Michael mainly was irritating to Maggie as she had been to Matt.

Maggie, always a self-possessed little girl, was the first to know whether she was going to have a sister or a brother. She went with us to the ultrasound and we gave permission the ultrasound technician to tell her. Maggie promised not to tell us.

After that, she was getting calls from friends of ours to learn secretly what we were having. It was just fun to have Maggie in charge of that bit of knowledge.

She vowed to never tell, but then we were in the baby’s toy aisle in Shopko – a Wisconsin discount chain – when I begged her. Still, she would not give in. Finally, I said it was OK to tell my dad but not her dad.

Eventually, I think a friend of Maggie’s told Dick – I think it may have been Heather. (Hi, Heather.) That was truly OK.

Maggie went off to college when Michael was in sixth grade so their worlds were very much apart. Then sometime when he was in the last years of high school they found they had more in common. And as he was in college and now grad school I think a real friendship developed.

That’s a very good thing, a real joy for me.

I think siblings need to have a special relationship outside of their parents for no other reason than to bitch about us. I mean, share constructive criticism, concern or worries about us. And, let’s not forget poking fun of us.

There is something about a sibling relationship that is like no other. Brothers and sisters understand what each other’s childhood was like: the craziness, the joy of your family and the struggles. They can make you laugh in a way no one else can. And that’s true for Maggie and Michael even though Maggie was out of the house as he came of age.

If you are lucky, your kids will like each other in addition to loving each other. They’ll be friends for life. And Maggie’s husband, Mike, is part of that friendship. He calls Michael his “Broseph.”

That’s what I have with my brother. He used to call me a “stay at home Charlie” when I was in high school and not as adventuresome as he was. Now we are friends and can make each other laugh like no other.

So yes, Maggie and Michael, I was jealous – but very grateful – for your weekend together.

Maggie, Michael and Mike in Atlanta

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