Today was one of those unusual days. Grace was extra loving towards both her older brother and younger sister and the kids were just extra cute towards each other. We intentionally had our kids within 3 years of each other (Rowen and Grace being just 13 months apart and Grace and Eleanor a big 15 months apart). This was important to me because I felt the closer the age often the more in common you have with your siblings and the easier it is to have a closer relationship. Obviously everyone has different experiences and beliefs but I just wanted to give the kids any and every chance at having a close sibling relationship.
I have a son so my girls have an older brother which is a new dynamic for me and I love it but there is nothing like having daughters and girls having sisters. I am not saying it is better or my favourite it is just different. Sisters are built in protectors, can give advice, help widen your circle of friends. That being said I am a believer that not all sisters all blood related. My mom lost her sister to Cancer but still has an ex-sister in law that most people just assume is her biological sister. I love this, it means my mom has a bond with her “sister” (different from her relationship with her brother). Not better just different. I like to hope that all women have another women that they would consider like a sister, we can all use that!
You might not know this about me but I am the oldest of three girls. We are the Plain sisters (but I like to think we are far from Plain).
So, growing up with three sisters, fairly close in age, some could say was interesting. We are three very different personalities and three very different strengths and challenges. Now at 33, 31 and 30 years old, two of us have daughters of our own and the third sister is getting married this summer, but at the end of the day we are always there for each other.
I am the oldest, the protector, the defender, definitely the one who holds a grudge for any of the three of us.
Then there is the middle sister, the glue, the rational one, the tie breaker, the mediator, the favourite (Lol!).
Of course the baby, the comedian, the outgoing/ life of the party, career driven, oh and the favourite auntie.
We were not always this close and still are very different but at the end of the day we share secrets, we share a lot of the same values and we share a childhood of memories and experiences and we share friends.
That being said, I know we are not the “normal” when it comes to siblings. We live within a couple of blocks of each other, we talk weekly and often see each other just as much and we for the most part get along and generally like each other.
I often wonder how or why we turned out this way but never come up with an answer. I just hope that my kids find the same relationships with each other that I have come to find in my siblings. We have many friends and even Fraser who have estranged relationships with their siblings. Many often comment on how lucky I am to be so close to my sisters. We all three work hard to have the relationships we do and I wouldn’t say it comes naturally but instead is a choice we make to be close and to raise our families together.
Growing up our aunts and uncles and cousins played a big role in our lives and I am so happy my kids will be blessed with he same experiences I had with family.
That being said aunts/uncles and cousins are not necessarily blood related and in our case our kids have many pseudo aunts and uncles that play just as important of roles as their blood related aunts and uncles. I love this. I remember once running away from home (because everyone did that when they were a teen) and not being a block from home and being spotted by my uncle. That’s the thing about big families, you are always spotted! Not easy to blend into the background. It also means whenever you are in trouble or need help there is always someone around. This is a reason I love that my kids have so many aunts and uncles. Because I know if they need someone between all these people there is bound to be one that they are comfortable to go to.
Today I became an Auntie again and to a beautiful niece, one of my best friends had her first daughter and I just couldn’t stop tearing up and then I thought about it and I thought about daughters and how they change you and the relationship you have with your mother. I am so excited that she gets to experience this kind of relationship different from that of a son. Ill never forget when I had my first daughter and my aunt (a mother of 4, 3 sons and 1 daughter) said she was so happy that I had a daughter and that she loves her sons but there is something about having a daughter. I get it now!
My mother and I are very different but at the end of the day when I need someone she is there and she knows me better than sometimes I know myself. She had always been great at taking us all three out for special dates (movies, dinners, shopping and of course spa). I am constantly asking Fraser what moms do with sons because it is so different and I never see him going out on mother/son dates like I do with my mom. Daughters are different. That being said I put in extra effort to make sure I work hard at having an equally close and good relationship with my son.
Do you have different relationships with your sons than your daughters? Do your kids get along or is a constant struggle (we play referee a lot!)? Would love to hear about your family dynamics and things you do to foster a good relationship between you and your kids but also between siblings.
One thought on “Siblings by chance, friends by choice…”
Carly, as usual, I am blown away by your writing abilities. However, this blog is exceptionally touching to me. You have touched on so many very important points, and as your mom, I am deeply touched by all the memories you have and the mark they have left on you. I truly believe you and Fraser are so very fortunate as not only do you have your “families” in which you were born into but you also have so much extended families as your circle of friends is large and filled with amazing people, hence, Rowen, Grace and Eleanor are truly fortunate. Reading this blog has triggered all kinds of memories for me, lots around you and your sisters, lots around Auntie Mona, auntie Monica and my very close gal pals. Thank you for this blog, I am so very proud of you, your ability to share, to recognize your strengths and weaknesses and the work you have done to get there. You have a beautiful family, I am so looking forward to my trip to Maui to spend time with you and Fraser and the littles, and get to know everyone a little bit better. Xoxo. (Hopefully, everyone is as excited as I am LOL)