Friday, November 18, 2011

friday book review: the sibling effect

The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us
Jeffrey Kluger

"The universe of human relationships is an impossibly varied one. Wives have their husbands; children have their parents; lovers their partners; friends have one another. There are cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents, schoolmates and colleagues and rivals and peers. Every one of those relationships plays out under its own set of rules and rituals, each unique, each elaborate. For all that richness and complexity, however, there may be no relationships that can run quite as deep or survive quite as long as those among siblings. You know it if you grew up with one. You know it if you are raising some. You know it if you've merely watched a group of them interact.
From the time we're born, our brothers and sisters are our collaborators and co-conspirators, our role models and our cautionary tales. They are our scolds, protectors, goads, tormentors, playmates, counselors, sources of envy, objects of pride. They help us learn how to resolve conflicts and how not to; how to conduct friendships and when to walk away from them. Bigger sibs learn to nurture by mentoring little ones; little sibs learn wisdom by heeding the older ones. Our spouses and children arrive comparatively late in our lives; our parents leave us too early. Our brothers and sisters are with us for the whole journey."

for those of you who know me well know that my sibling relationships are at the top of my list for relationships nearest and dearest to my heart,
so it's no surprise that we separately selected this book for this month's sibling book club selection.
the above passage and many others in this book have resonated with me,
they have touched my heart deeply,
and made me grateful all over again for the siblings i have.
they know me inside and out;
there's never a need for explaining to them;
they just "get it",
and i am so fortunate for the journey we have already been on together
and fortunate for knowing & hoping that they will be on the whole journey.

i think often about my children who have siblings.
i'm afraid i've meddled too much in their unique relationships,
just trying to make it special for them from the beginning,
exactly how it has been for me.
plus, i've known the potential of sibling relationships,
and i have wanted to re-live it all over again with them.
this book has reminded me that i had my chance;
i will never be apart of their sibling clan.
i am the mother,
and that is oh so very different than the sister!
i've began to accept that i won't be apart of their sibling secrets, games, inside jokes, support, or mischief,
nor is it my place.
instead i will continue to bask in what i have
and rejoice in watching my children establish their own strong sibling bonds,
in their own way.
what a privilege it is to see those bonds forming already!
i love to see maggie run to her brothers 1st thing in the morning with wide arms & slobbery kisses,
and i love to see how happy they are to receive her.
i love to hear both sam & will telling their playmate friends at separate occasions about how cute & sweet their sister is.
i love to watch sam & will get a game going,
making up their own rules,
and compromising with each other.
and i'm even starting to not mind the fighting
because i'm catching glimpses of their compassion for each other as they practice conflict resolution.
i'm beginning to see the noise and the wrestling, and the silliness as relationship building,
and i look forward to the day when they can look back and know how lucky they are to have had each other.

1 comment:

Arin and Troy said...

Amen, sista. I loved that part where it said siblings are the only relationships that are with us from beginning to end.

I also am loving watching the sibling relationship growing between Stockton and Logan already. I just hope I dont pressure them to be best friends too much that I ruin it for them!! :)

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