Friday, June 4, 2010

Flashback Friday - Sibling Stuff

Do you have siblings? (If not, keep reading - I'll get to you.) How many and are they boys or girls? Where do you fall in the birth order? How did you view your "spot" in the family compared with the others? If you are the oldest, did you resent the things the youngest got to do that you didn't? If the youngest, what did you want to do like the older ones? And if you are more of a middle child, how did that impact you? How do you think your birth order shaped your personality? Did you and your siblings like each other growing up or did you fight all the time? Are you close now? Or at least friends with each other?! What memories stand out about you and your siblings?

If you are an only child, how did you like that? Were you glad to have all the attention or did you want to have a brother or sister? What advantages were there to being an only child? What disadvantages? Which side of the fence is greener?!

For everyone, did your sibling experiences (or lack thereof!) affect your decision to have kids or to have a certain number?

I have one brother and two sisters, all older. They were 11, 9, and 7 when I was born. Most of my growing up years were spent trying to be big like just like they were. I generally really liked my siblings, although sometimes I felt like I had two additional mothers when my sisters bossed me! That was a real pain! We didn't have quite the same type of squabbles that siblings who are closer together do, but we could definitely push each other's buttons! I used to drive one sister crazy by mimicking her; even as she was talking, I could figure out what she was going to say and say it at the exact same time. But she deserved it; she made me fall off my bike and still refuses to admit it to this very day!

My brother and I have always had a special relationship. In spite of the fact that he cried when I was born and he found out I wasn't a brother! But he got over that fairly quickly. Which was a good thing, considering my crib was in his room! One of my sweetest memories with him occurred the first summer he was married, when I was almost 11. He took a week of vacation and I went to see him and my then-SIL. She was working and he and I swam in the apartment pool, played endless games of dominoes, and other miscellaneous activities. Looking back as an adult, I realize even more what a special thing that was for a guy who was 22 years old to want to be with his sister!

I was definitely treated as the baby of the family. I wasn't particularly spoiled; they just didn't always tell me everything. (And they certainly didn't let me do everything!) Even when I was in college and my mom had some major health issues, they didn't tell me all the details until a good bit later. So it was a little weird when the baby ended up being the one who cared for our mom in her later years. My missionary sister and I have also had a bit of role reversal as she feels so out of touch with American culture when she comes home that she relies on me a lot.

As far as birth order and personality characteristics go, I'm a strange mixture! I definitely have some characteristics of a youngest child. But I also have some of an only child, because I was in 6th grade when the last of the older kids went to college, so I was the only one at home for a number of years.

My brother and I were really close after my dad died in 1996; he handled all the financial aspects of my mom's care while I took care of the physical/medical stuff. We were a great team. We still have a good relationship but just don't talk as much. Our stages of life are very different. The same is true of my other sister and again, a lot of that has to do with the fact we don't have a lot in common.

I'll always remember an epiphany I had at my grandmother's funeral. After the graveside service, I remember noticing my great-aunt (my grandmother's sister), who was born when my grandmother was 18. My great-aunt was the last living sibling, and it struck me how sad and lonely she looked. I told my family, "I guess that will be me some day." Then I realized what the alternative was and decided, "I hope that's me some day!" The idea that I would bury all my siblings was sobering, but not as much as the thought of being one of the first to depart this world!

I always kinda wanted to have three kids. But my man, who is the oldest of four, just wanted two, and my pregnancies were so miserable that I'm not sure I could have managed another one!

I'm looking forward to reading your flashback! Share your sibling memories on your blog and link up here!


View blog reactions


Jim said...

Good, Linda! I am glad you were also an only child. I was that way for five years until my sister showed up.
I write about her, Lois, a lot. One more time this week won't be the last either.

Nel said...

Enjoyed reading your memories! Isn't it fun to learn more about people and meet new ones. Thanks for hosting this fun meme.

until next time... nel

skoots1mom said...


Teresa Dawn said...

Great memory of your brother spending time with you despite the huge age difference.

Joyce said...

I'm enjoying reading these...its interesting to see how our family makeup impacts who we are, even today.

Sweet story about your brother!

Cathy said...

Sounds like you grew up in a great family! Love learning more about your life.

lailani said...

One brother here, younger. How different we were and are. I was text book first born and somehow he resented my bossiness!?! haha But he really should not have been throwing toilet paper torches into the trees above our home :)

I enjoyed your post and your teasing your sister and the love of your brother . . . have a good weekend.

Kathy said...

Hi Linda, I'm new to your meme, but I am familiar with it through some of your participants. They are old friends from Random Dozen or Six Word Saturday.

I enjoyed reading your post, and have some things in common with you with the huge age difference between me and my brother.

I always enjoy reading everyone's flashbacks since a lot of us are close in age. Thanks for the memories!

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

What a special memory you have with your brother!

Let the Flashing back begin, Mines up!


skoots1mom said...

my sister was NEVER just wasn't in her. she was very meek and a second mother.

Beth said...

Enjoyed your memories! My son is 13+ years younger than his siblings and he has enjoyed times like you describe with your brother. There are some definite good things about being the baby by a bunch!

Barbara H. said...

We have a big age spread as well, but I am the oldest. I hate to think of being the first one to possibly depart! It has been sobering being the first one to reach the 30s, 40s, and now 50s.

Julia M. Reffner said...

I'm enjoying your flashback posts, Linda. My brother and I are 8 years apart and unfortunately not close. No rifts, just not so much in common.

I can understand what you mean about pregnancies. I came pretty close to losing my daughter and was miserably sick for 7+ months of both pregnancies.

quilly said...

We have a lot in common! My siblings ranged in age from 18 to 8 when I was born!

The rest you will see when you visit -- although don't come to quickly. I am going to go edit to include something I should have mentioned.

Kathryn said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I did a post for Flashback, but decided to delete it, and I didn't know how to take my name off the link :( I don't have a great situation with my siblings right now, and decided not to start anything by posting what I wrote about it. I'll try again next week and see if it's a better topic for me. Thanks for the compliment on my name...I love to see it spelled like that. :)

Love, Kathryn

Tina said...

Thanks, Linda. This was fun. I have liked reading the memories you and the others have shared.

Dawn said...

Lid! I fail at blogging! I totally forgot that yesterday was Friday (but I still showed up at work!)! I'll do mine today, this one is about siblings and I could do without one :)


CeeCee said...

Love reading your posts! I'm the middle child who can't really say I suffer from middle child syndrome since I'm the only girl. I'm extremely close to my older brother and adore my younger brother who came ten years after me. He hated me until I left home at 17 because I took my mother's attention. Anyhoo...

Susan said...

This was a really fun one! I enjoyed writing about my siblings, and am enjoying reading about others' experiences with theirs. I never thought about being the first to pass away, as the oldest, if normal life events take their course. That IS sobering! Considering I'm 18 and 20 years older than my youngest siblings, it is likely that I will go before they will. Wow.