I know having to birth a child is extremely painful, and to then raise them into sensible humans, even more challenging. So I am in absolute support of people who choose to not have kids or want a single child.
Having said that, siblings are heavenly to have.
To fight with, to hold on to, to grow up with.
We are three – two sisters and a brother. In a way, I have the best of both worlds.
My only regret was not having a younger sibling to boss around. But my brother’s wife is awesome enough to let me do that when I am around.
Now, I really have nothing to complain about.
Even when I am just done with fighting with them, and wonder how I have such a crazy family, if you ask me if I would choose a life without them, my answer would be ‘Absolutely not!’
I cannot imagine a childhood without the “who got adopted in Nigeria” stories, the ganging up one against two, the glass panes shuddering alongside Metallica as we studied maths and science or catching my sister daydreaming and smiling to herself during study time.
I remember how each day I would promise myself to never listen to my sister’s gossip ever again as she walked away right as I started yapping about my stuff. The next day we would repeat the same, her stories and when it was time for mine, “mommy is calling!”.
What would life be without having someone to recount stuff that happened so long ago or sketch in the details of events you had forgotten ever happened? How can cheese spread ever seem exciting without someone fighting over who took more? Would mom’s cake be as much fun without arguing about who got to lick the batter bowl clean or nigerian soup worth eating if there was no one to bicker with for the larger share?
But one thing that I appreciate even more than having siblings, is having the number and variety of kids one can have.
Between us there are seven kids.
When we are together, our house is a crazy mess. Within ten minutes of clearing up, we have clothes, toys and books spread across the floor. Cleaning the floor after every spill which magically occurs within minutes of each other is exhausting even to watch. The crying and the yelling as a toy changes hands or as one chooses to forget consent for hugs and kisses can drive even the meekest into a maniac. The screaming and yelling and the unimaginable mayhem that we create!
But in that madness is an amazing sense of warmth. To watch little groups bond, the relationships forge in absolute randomness, to see a younger version of us kicking and crying about absolutely nothing, to see a two year old reach out for the one year as he falls down, the eight year old feed the three year old, the play, the laughter, the magic…goodness! it is such an amazing sweet feeling that cannot be explained.
Life is a rush. Between deadlines, phone calls and work mails, it is easy to forget people. Family, friends and the ones that hold you together when you are falling apart.
It is not something you are proud of, but when the day takes over, relationships tend to take a backseat. But with siblings, you are always the focus. Even when you take a backseat, they reach out.
And when you become parents, the bond is taken forward in your little ones, as they pick up your phones and dial the numbers you missed. Because, it is now their childhood that is getting constructed with their siblings, it is now time for their jokes and their stories.
Their memories are now being built.