On Siblings

(From 29th December 2016)

I recently had a discussion with husband about what it was like to have siblings. To be honest I had never really thought about it much before because I have never not had a sibling. Husband is an only child but I have a sister and four brothers. Not all from the same parents though (see image below).

Basically when I was born I had a brother already who was three and a bit years older than me. Obviously I don’t really remember much about what we were like anywhere under the age of about six. When I was between the ages of five and six both of my parents had met other people. My dad met my step mum who already had two older children and my mum had recently married my step dad and had a baby so I became a big sister for the first time.

I remember at first not liking my new little brother because it meant that I wasn’t the baby anymore and suddenly he was getting all the fuss. I warmed up to him soon enough though. As he grew older he became very much his own person and knew what he liked and what he didn’t and he didn’t much appreciate me trying to dress him up or play teachers or whatever game I was really in to at the time. Now I love to hang out with him and we will talk for ages. He educates me on things that he likes, a lot of those things I now like because of him. He also helps me if I need to make some kind of Star Wars or geeky film reference. He is very funny to. He has a very sarcastic sense of humour sometimes that might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I love it and I love the fact that he doesn’t really mind either and his tweets (the ones that I understand) are hilarious. Two and a half years after he was born my mum had another new baby. I was besotted with him straight away. I was nine years old by this point and had already gotten over not being the baby anymore so I was much more excited about this little brother and he basically became my life sized baby doll. Not that my mum was too chuffed about that though. We were very close and he would follow me around and get very mad if I left him for too long. Currently he is 16 years old and I hardly see him as he is shut in his room playing Xbox most of the time but we still talk and he will always be my baby brother to me.

As far as the “step” and “half” labels go I don’t really use them. All my siblings are “real” to me. I always say I have one sister and four brothers so unless asked I don’t go into the parentage. My little brother and I were having a talk when he was younger. He turned and said to me “but you’re just my half sister” or something to that effect. I can’t remember how old he was exactly at the time but I believe he was around 8 or 9 and just starting to figure out how our family worked. I know that he didn’t mean it in a horrible way and wasn’t trying to hurt me but the blow I felt from that comment was unreal and something I had never really expected. We had a conversation about how even though we had different dads it doesn’t make him any less my brother or mean that I love him any different. Thankfully for me he hasn’t said anything like that since as it makes me tear up just thinking about it.

When I was a lot younger and I would go to my dads for the weekend, me and my sister would turn her room into a runway using the bedsheets. She would do my makeup and dress me up in her clothes and we would do a fashion show and sing along to music. I believe it was my sister who first introduced me to the music of Whitney Houston and I can remember how cool I thought I was when I finally learnt all the lyrics TLC – No Scrubs and R Kelly – Ignition. I recently discovered that even though we are older now and live at opposite ends of the country we hold a lot of the same thoughts and beliefs about thing. I think this is so awesome as my sister has always been one of the people I look up to in life.

Possibly one of the earliest memories of my biggest brother is when I went to see what he was doing one day and was basically, probably being really annoying and hanging around because my sister was out and he told me to go away. I was heartbroken because I didn’t know why he didn’t want to hang out with me (it could possibly have been the fact that I was maybe 7 or 8 and so he would have 13 or 14. I’m sure no teenager wants to hang out with a 7 year old). He was really awesome though and would hang out with me sometimes and we would have a great time. I also seem to remember a time he got his ear pierced and had a Nike earring. Why on earth I remember that I have no idea as I’m not entirely sure it’s even a true memory. Now we don’t see each other very often and he is quite busy working a  lot of the time but I am so proud of the man he has become and love to see him and catch up when I visit.

I can remember a few times when me and my big brother used to fight and he would get annoyed at me. Mostly though I remember looking up to him (and not just because he was tall). I always wanted to like the things that he liked such as certain computer games or music or clothes. He went through a massive skater stage at one point and I tried to copy by wearing baggy jeans and beanie hats. I should also thank him for the fact I know the lyrics to most Sum 41 and Eminem songs and I learnt all the lyrics to Tenacious D- Tribute (including shiny demon voice) because of him. I also used to try and hang out with him and his friends after school and he hated it. I’m not sure if he is going to read this and so think that I am making it up but once we moved to Scotland I really missed him and still do. I have already said in my “on the edge of Bedford” post that I’m not sure if my memory is different from his. I’m sure at one point we were quite close and now we don’t talk as much and I just like to know that he is really okay. I know he is a big boy and can look after himself but I still like to hear from him.

I live literally round the corner from my younger brothers so it is much easier to keep in contact with them (although I did find it weird the first time I received a text of my youngest brother). I live many miles away from all my older siblings though and I feel like sometimes life just happens and we all have things going on so we don’t keep in touch as much as any of us would like I suspect. I don’t want any of them to ever think that I don’t care though because I do. I care greatly and I think about them all often.

I feel that being a younger sister isn’t as hard as being an older sister. Being a younger sister for me mainly consists of trying not to be a pain in the butt, forgetting to send simple messages or even birthday cards and for a very long time forgetting that I am actually younger than them so was comparing myself. Luckily as I have gotten older I have realised that we all have the same worries more or less. Being a big sister however has been one of the more difficult “jobs” I have had. I am a natural worrier anyway so when it comes to my younger brothers you can pretty much guarantee that if I’m thinking about them, I’m worrying about them. Are they doing okay at school/college? Do they have a good group of friends? Are they happy? Most of the time I try not to be embarrassing or overbearing though. I originally got in to this discussion with hubby because my youngest brother was going to what I believe was his first teenage party and remembering what I was like at his age I said that I needed to message him to make sure he was okay. Also that if he was having a drink that he was handling it okay. I have always tried to be supportive of them and let them know that if there is anything they ever need to talk about then I am here for them and that will always be the case.

In the end I think I said to husband that being a sibling is a really difficult thing to try and explain to someone who isn’t one. I love each and everyone of them just as much as the next but yet I have a completely different relationship with all of them. There is a connection between siblings that can’t really be described to someone unless they have felt it.

Anyways. Sorry that was waffly and probably made no sense.

Thanks for reading

Gemma..X

(all pictures are from google)

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