Skip to content

The Gift of Siblings

June 4, 2013

The Gift of Siblings

Frank Bruni wrote a simple yet eloquent piece in The New York Times this past week: The Gift of Siblings. Have you read it?

As I spend this week with my mom, gallivanting around the city and taking pictures of all the little moments, I can’t help to think that I wish my siblings were all here too. (And my dad.) And while I do appreciate my alone time with her, her and dad really did give the four of us the greatest gift of all: cherished relationships built with unconditional love — with each other.

I’m the obvious baby of the four — at least that is what they would say. I’m a bit more needy, a bit more selfish, a lot more emotional. I’m not the first on my feet after a big meal to clear the plates and help mom clean up. In fact, I probably will never get up from the table because I will be enjoying my glass of wine and laughing with Miken, the next youngest. (Who will, indeed, get up and help, eventually.)

I often wonder what it would be like now if we all moved back in to that house with our parents. Now that we are “grown-ups”.


Zach, my brother and eldest, left for college before I was old enough to care to know him. We are seven years apart putting me in fifth grade when he graduated from high school. He worked hard all summer and before I knew it, he was gone. My young memories of him were playing Lion King on his Sega or Crash Bandacoot on his Playstation (in the later years); the smell of Curve cologne soaked in his blue bed spread in that tiny room with Tar Heels painted on the wall. It wasn’t until Zach came back for his Masters, when I was a junior in high school, that I could grow to appreciate him and love him less like a brother and more like a best friend. He was still busy, with work and school, but it was that time that I needed to make our bond just that much more special. Within weeks of each other, we left home. Me to Columbus, following in his footsteps, and him to Chicago to chase dreams. I was so proud of him then, and still am. Our sibling rivalry is limited to food.


Whitney was the sister you wanted to grow up to be. She is effortlessly perfect with people, making everyone she talks to in the day-to-day feel important. If my parents were going to leave me with anyone, it had to be Whitney. While I am sure having two younger sisters was not easy for her in her middle school years, she still took the time to read us Precious Moments and do our hair. Most of the time she would let Miken and I wriggle our little bodies on her twin bed with her and her friends just to feel cool. She grew up with the same compassion for children that I often find myself envious of, because that is not me. She can create a game out of thin air and she can make her boys laugh until they can’t breath. She is still that sister I aspire to be.


Miken felt like my twin. Being only 18 months apart, we shared everything. We shared bedrooms, clothes, bunk beds, Barbies, Zach’s Playstation (when we were not allowed), secrets, first kisses on Halloween, imaginations, friends. Everything. So much, in fact, that when we were young, I thought she would grow to hate me. Miken is clean, neat and organized. I, happily, was not. Cleaning bedrooms caused massive fights and inevitable tears. But somehow, throughout it all, our bond rarely faltered. I cherish every moment I have with her dry sense of humor, sarcasm and charm.


My parents gave us a gift. My siblings may not be people I would have chosen as friends, but sometimes I think they would be, given we were the same age. I know that they love me unconditionally in my worst stages; I can cry, complain, bitch, PMS, forget to call them back, or go weeks without speaking but as soon I hear their voices, I can relax. They are on my side and I have them forever: beginning, middle and end.

Lucky me.

The Gift of Siblings

Do you have siblings? My dad and Josh are both one of four (all boys) and my mom is one of seven! I’m always curious about how siblings get along based on how many there are and throughout different stages of their lives…

{Psst… I should also mention that Whitney married Luke and Miken married Tim making them my siblings too! One day I’ll have enough dirt on them to write something fun. Love you two!}

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2013 4:21 pm

    Beautiful – and who loves you all more then you will ever know-I do!!


  1. A special birthday. | the shellhammer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: