Everyone has a story about their siblings. Usually it revolves around a time when they were feeling a bit homicidal and trying to kill or maim you. Despite near death experiences, you know your sibling really has your back like no one else does, and that no matter how much they tortured you as a child, that you will be in each other’s lives forever. Growing up together has a way of bonding you to another person in that no one else can ever break.
You did stupid stuff together
One of you was the mastermind behind ideas such as “Let’s string up a flying fox over the swimming pool”, and “Let’s ride around the house on our skateboards – on our knees!”, which resulted in broken teeth and limbs. But you all survived, and these stories have gone down in family legend, getting dragged out and retold every Christmas lunch after a few glasses of wine. These stories will be passed down to your children when they’re older, and they’ll be in awe of how wild you and your siblings were.
You tortured each other
Is there a family out there with kids who didn’t torture each other? My brother, for example, once dragged me around the living room floor by my foot, because I sat on “his” lounge chair. Yes. Siblings are the people in our lives on whom we take our feelings out on (often bad ones like this), in a way that there is no way they’d treat anyone else. You see your sibling’s raw emotions; uncivilized and unfiltered. Sure it’s not fun to be on the receiving end of it, but it also means that you’ve seen a side of this person that no one in their entire lives is likely to ever see but you.
You know each other’s secrets
Sharing a house with someone means, like it or not, they know things about you that you probably prefer that they didn’t. Your moustache that you bleech. His embarrassing tween crush. Her night braces that made her look like a robot. You’re vulnerable with each other in a way that you will never be with another person.
You were awkward together
The tweens and teen years are awful. You and your siblings dealt with it together, and emerged as normal looking people on the other side. They’ve seen you at your dorkiest and still love you.
You were parented together
Having a sibling gives you an ally against your parents. It’s a lot harder for them to say no when there are two or more of you ganging up against them wanting to go out for ice cream. Your ally in childhood is also going to be your go-to person when you’re an adult. You can laugh over some of your parents’ “interesting” forms of parenting (“You let me ride a pony in a paddock with dogs running underfoot, and the neighbours on BMX bikes zooming past – really?!”) and share amazement that you’re still alive to tell the story.
You’ve always got each other
It’s awful to think about, but later in life, when your parents aren’t around anymore, your siblings are going to be the last links to the family you were born into. They’re going to be the keepers of your childhood memories, the ones who drop over just to do nothing together, the people who will love you to the end, no matter what. Fights are forgotten, all is forgiven, as family is always the most important thing.
This article first appeared on MommyNearest.com.
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Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!