Friendship with one’s siblings is worth it.
As children we were never particularly close. When we were all very young we would play games and stuff together, but as I got older we drifted apart. Well, I did from them anyway. Being the only girl and four years older than my next sibling meant they were friends by default and I was left out. That age gap only seemed to widen as I went through my teenage years and there was nothing strong enough to bridge it. That’s not to say we disliked each other or caused problems for each other, we just didn’t have much in common growing up. As the eldest, I would get irritated and annoyed by my little brothers and their stupid childish behaviour.
Recently, however, all of that has changed. We are all adults now, with Ben, the youngest, being nineteen. And so we have all grown into our own personalities. I think we get on better than we ever have. The very fact that we choose to spend time with each other should back that up!
Ben and I made a trip up to Chester last week to see Angus. We also wanted to go to the zoo, but we wouldn’t have bothered with the journey up there if Angus wasn’t at Uni there. It was really nice to be able to sit with my brothers in a bar and chat. Just like chilling out with a couple of good mates. Because that’s the great thing about being friends with your siblings, you don’t have to hide anything at all. They know you better than any of your other friends are going to. My brothers know how I feel about things, we’ve talked about various situations that each other are or have been in and we understand one another. There is a respect there, for who the other people are and the decisions they make, and an unconditional level of support and love. When you know you have that behind your friendship, you can relax. And that’s how I feel now when I spend time with my brothers.
Sitting there in that bar, was the best I’ve felt in a while even though I was really tired and my head was buzzing from sugary fruit cocktails. It reminded me of what great people my brothers are, how they are so worth knowing. I thought back to the gradual progression of our relationships, going from rolled eyes and sighing when each other spoke to them wanting to beat up ex-boyfriends to an offering of support through a rough patch to sitting in a bar discussing race-horses and the sad fact that almost everything comes back to money in the end.
I love that I am friends with my brothers. I love the people they are and the fact that I get to know them and enjoy their company. They’re still my not-so-little brothers and always will be, which means they’ll always get on my nerves and I’ll wonder whether I can truly be related to them at regular intervals. But, I spend time with them because I want to, and they do the same for each other and for me. Ben and I are planning to head back up to Chester to be there for Angus’ 21st birthday too. Partying with my little brothers is not something I ever though I would do. And yet…
While I may not have as many friends as might be expected of a woman my age, the ones I do have are ones that matter. They might be all over the country, all over the world even, but they are real friends. Friends I love unconditionally, people I would squeeze so tight every time I saw them, wonderful beautiful vibrant daring honest and true friends. I don’t see them often, I spend a lot of my time wishing I could see them more. Wishing I had the money to travel and visit all the people I love best.
And now I can count my brothers in that group of friends, amongst the people I will always have time for. I think that is a bloody good thing and something not enough people celebrate. Siblings are important, there is something special there. It should not be wasted or taken for granted. I am so glad that my brothers and I have realised that we want to know each other this early on in our lives, because now we have the rest of our adult lives (hopefully quite a long time…) to enjoy each others friendship.
Real honest to god friends for life.
That’ll do nicely.