I'm sure I'm going to hear about this post, in some way or the other. But when something's on my mind, it's on my mind, and I have to get it out there.
My girlfriends and I talk about the subject of family quite often. Many of us are part of large families. Most of us have a sister, and a few of us just have a brother or two out there. ALL of us wonder the same thing: How is it possible that we're related to these people?! Who said that just because you have the same mother you should be friends? It's a proven fact that is is a bullshit lie, so who made up this rule?
Now, some background: Along with assorted step siblings, I have four sisters. Every one of them more beautiful than me, all of them smarter than me, and every last one of them lacks any need whatsoever for my advice on life. I am the oldest, so I have always suffered from the fallacy that I must pave the way for those behind me. I don't know why it was my lot to be the guinea pig of experimentation; the long suffering "first" to experience the worst that life has to offer, but somewhere along the line I began to believe it was this way so that I could protect my sisters from having to experience the same thing. (Um, this didn't work, obviously.) Back to the belief that I was doing something admirable: I chalk it up to my mother's brainwashing that as the oldest it was somehow my responsibility. The problem is, no one ever clued my sisters in as to how appreciative they should be of my greatness. This posed some problems for us as we all made our way into adulthood.
I had five children in ten years, all while my sisters were getting their college educations, buying houses, and becoming two income families without kids. I didn't go to school until my baby was 18 months old, and I was 31 years of age. Needless to say, I do not recommend this course of action, and I would choke the life out of any of my five children if they dared to follow in my footsteps. I have done plenty of brainwashing of my own regarding getting married at 18 and focusing on nothing but procreation before you are old enough to buy a drink. But that's another story for another day. I bring it up because I think we've done a pretty good job with our kids, and I'm proud of the way that they were raised. Of course, once I went to college and learned a few things, I can see that there were many other ways they could have been raised, and "advice" my sisters tried to give me about their upbringing all made sense to me finally, once I became a more enlightened person. Doesn't mean I felt at the time they were qualified in any way to dispense that advise! My mantra used to be: "When you get a kid of your own, then we'll talk!" I'm still waiting on a single phone call asking my advice, and I have nieces and nephews approaching their tenth year of life at this writing.... once again, ingrates! Don't they realize how much I know??!
Having said that much, all of the children in my family, yours, mine and ours, have a college education. We have a doctor, a nurse, four teachers, a writer, and a medical transcriptionist. Everyone brings something to the table, and it's a lively group. I love each of my sisters for their own unique talents and lifestyles, and want the best for everyone. Why is it then, that when the five of us are together, it's like a freakin' dynamite keg waiting to explode?? I wonder what we're doing together, and why we attempt this a couple times a year.To boot, there's my mother, flitting like a butterfly amongst the flowers who are her daughters, trying to manipulate the whole shebang. Why can't there be some common ground on which all of us can stand, and enjoy each other for what we are?
As my bestie and I were discussing over lunch the other day, it's very frustrating to reach out, albeit tentatively, to a sibling only to have your feelings brushed aside as though he/she can't take time to even listen to what you're going through. And this brings me back to where I started: who says this should be an expectation anyway? Most of us agree that we wouldn't seek out people like our siblings to be friends with, and these Lifetime Movies of the week "sister relationships" are simply that: a Hollywood contrivance. So this begs the question, should we feel bad about that, or just embrace it as part of life, enjoy our sibling relationships the best we can when life throws us together, or should we continue to strive for that perfect sisterhood we read about in books? I don't have an answer, and am simply glad that all four of them continue to speak to me from time to time. If any of you out there know a spell, or a prayer, or a potion that we can use to help facilitate this most difficult fusion of people into one family, please share.