Monday, October 27, 2014

Just Curious: Siblings!

I am in the middle of back-to-back visits from my out-of-town daughters, with a two-day overlap. It's been wonderfully joyful to have them in the house again! My younger daughter (who is expecting a baby boy!) flew in to surprise her little brothers, especially the youngest, who has missed her so much, and my elder daughter came with my adorable granddaughter! My adult son came home from college over the weekend to see his sisters and niece (we were only missing our two fabulous sons-in-law), and all this excitement has left no time for blogging.

But it did make me think of how beautiful is the sibling bond, and it has me wondering:

How many siblings do you have? Are they boys or girls? And where do you fall in the lineup? 

I am the younger of two sisters. We are 19 months apart, and while we did not exactly get along when we were growing up, we are now best of friends! I always wanted a brother, but that was not to be.

One thing that strikes me as so funny now that I am surrounded by not only my own children and grandchildren, but also by my friends' children (soooooo many children!!) is that I never, ever, ever had any babies in my life until I had my own. I didn't have younger siblings, I didn't babysit, my friends didn't have babies in their homes, and I am not even sure I held actual babies more than a handful of times before my first daughter was born. My husband's situation was very similar, as he only had one sibling as well (a younger brother).

I have learned that big families come with unique blessings, such as...

Big sisters who are like second mommies:

Uncles who are just a few years older than nieces, so they can grow up as friends [please note that my granddaughter blows excellent raspberries; she is clearly a genius]:

The number of family members who fawn over the newest baby's sonograms keeps growing. Here are the latest pictures of our beautiful grandson:

Already praying? A future pope, perhaps? 

And a million other reasons, which boil down to love and more love -- oh, and more chances to sacrifice, suffer, and get holy!

Okay, now it's your turn. Whether you are an only child or one of a huge brood, tell me about your siblings (or lack thereof). I'm truly curious and look forward to your comments!


  1. I am the 2nd of 5 children. I have an older brother and two younger sisters (3.5 and 7.5 years younger) and then my little brother was an unexpected little blessing and was born when I was 16. People often thought he was mine. Didn't bother me though because I was and am pretty smitten with him.

  2. I am second of five children. I have older sister, younger by 3.5 years brother, and younger by 13 years and 16 years brother and sister. While I grew up with closer to my age brother and sister, I was just a babysitter for the little ones. Then when they were 10 and 7 I left my country for US. I missed all of the milestones in their lives...

  3. I'm the 3rd of five siblings. I am told that out of all the kids, I was the most difficult! :-) I went through phases in my life where I bonded with certain siblings and not with others, and now the ones I did not bond with as a child, I have bonded with as an adult. The only times I lamented that I had "too many siblings" is when I needed to use the bathroom and someone was always using it. :-) Other than that, I remember being very proud of having "the biggest family" in the neighborhood--we always had someone to play with!

  4. I am the third of five also :) My oldest brother is 13 years older than me. Then I have twin brothers 10 years older. And a little sister 3 1/2 years younger. Growing up it was almost like two different families since my parents had such a big gap between the boys and girls. My brothers were the sweetest to me growing up. My sister and I had our moments of bickering, but once we started homeschooling we stopped the fighting. Now I'm following my parents footsteps with 3 boys and 1 girl so far(although mine are all closer in age).

  5. I have a brother who is twenty months older and a sister who is three years younger. I also had a sister who was thirteen months younger, but she was born at 28 weeks gestation and only lived for 12 hours.

    I also have an older stepsister and stepbrother, but our parents didn't marry until we were in our teens and we were never raised together.

  6. I am the bookend. My parents first born was a son (he died at about 40 hours old). Then came two girls, then me, another boy. I'm five and half years younger than my oldest sister, and 22 months younger than my youngest, older sister.
    Growing up I was always closer to my oldest sister. I think my other sister and I were just too close age wise..
    Sadly I'm not as close to either sister as I could be/used to be...a variety of reasons contribute to that.

  7. I am #7 out of 12. After my mom passed away when I was 10, my dad remarried a woman with 7 children and together they had 4 more. So I have 11 brothers and 11 sisters for a total of 23.

  8. I am second oldest of seven children. My parents divorced after five of us and my father remarried and the youngest two are from that marriage.

    I have an older brother. I am then the oldest of three girls in succession (about 2-2.5 years apart) each of us). Then we have a younger brother who came about 22 months after my younger sister. My sister who is the oldest from my father's second marriage is 13 years younger than I am and my youngest brother is four years behind her.

    In total there are four girls and three boys. All but my youngest brother have married. My oldest is the oldest of the grandchildren at age 13 with grandchild #22 due in February 2015!! We can't get together as often as we like, but when we do, it's so much fun with all the kids running around!!

  9. What beautiful pictures of your children inside the womb and outside! :) I am #3 of 4. I have 2 older brothers and a younger sister. :) My brothers are 18 months apart and then my mom miscarried before she had me. So I'm about 5 years apart from my brother. I wasn't close to my brothers growing up due to interest and age gap and this makes me sad. Distance today keeps my siblings away from me, but when I do see my siblings I savor the memories. Because I wasn't close to my siblings growing up, I want my children to be close to their siblings. That's one of many reasons I homeschool :)

  10. Leila,

    Can I comment if I avoid being obnoxious like I was before? I miss participating in discussions with you and your readers.

  11. I have one half sister from my mom who was born when I was 6. I have at least 4 siblings by my dad and 3 I haven't met.

  12. I'm the youngest of 3 siblings. My sister is turning 32 tomorrow and my brother is 29, then there's me who will be 24 in January. I'm not really close with either of my siblings since everyone in my family has always been very independent, doing their own thing, but I do see them usually every Christmas, if not also Thanksgiving. Your children are so blessed to share such a close bond! Adorable pictures as always!!

    I'm in the EXACT same position as you were, Leila. Never did much baby-sitting growing up nor held many babies, so you give me hope if God does eventually bless me with children :)

  13. Aaarrrggghhh! I just wrote an "epistle" and then I got kicked out!

    Starting over: I am #2 of 8 - however, as my Big Bro says, our dad just kept having "litters". He divorced, remarried, and procreated. So, there are three litters. I am the oldest daughter, first litter.

    God love my mom and my momma (first stepmother) - they ignored many things (like my Dad) and chose to act for the good of all the children. So, I grew up as one of five.
    The third litter, poor dears, well, their mom was the proverbial stepmonster. She didn't care about anyone else but hers. She continually tried to get rid of the rest of us but her children were playmates for my children. So, I'm the child in the unique spot. However, those little sisters feel more like nieces to me.

    And, my children, oh - they are each other's best friends!!!! What joy! They are now providing me with adorable grandchildren - and I have been promised many - and I can't thank God enough for the blessings of the three in my arms with two more on the way!

    By the way, I am close to my Big Bro, my next youngest bro (he was MY boy!), and my first sister. Such is the agony - and the blessing - of divorce.

  14. Only 1 sister and I'm the oldest by 5 years. I loved her dearly when she was born and growing up, sadly she has drifted away from me and I miss her.
    I envy large families.

  15. #7 of 8. 12 year span. 5 boys 3 girls. My mom says she can't remember the 60's (for different reasons than most can't remember the 60's). I cherish the fact that we were close in age growing up. Although my younger brother will say "nobody ever told me that or that or that" about common things that were never actually explained to him. But being the younger was very special in many ways. All the playful love and attention from older sibs makes for a very rich upbringing. We have been truly blessed by God to have that closeness continued with 42 Grandkids. My dad is like Abraham! All the nieces and nephews getting married and having babies has been amazing to see. It's true that having babies around make the love multiply. It's awesome to see a twenty something nephew tell one of his cousins "you gonna hog that baby all day or what?
    With are own kids, watching them take care of each other and depend on each other brings great hope that they will remain tight their whole lives. Out older girl is such an sweet mama to the babes that I know they are building very strong bonds. Have I mentioned before that I'm the richest man on the face of the Earth?

  16. And Leila, how bout Perpetuo? More fitting for a boy. Like Petras and Petro. Just saying, it can still work.

  17. I'm 2nd of 5. 3 girls and 2 boys...I'm the second oldest and second girl, followed by my younger sister and 2 brothers. I was the trouble maker growing up (oh the stories my siblings like to tell about my treatment of them...I was pretty horrible), but now we are all pretty close, thankfully. We come from a bigger family as well...I have 40 first cousins and 3 of us are expecting to make a total of 25 great grandkids...and that's only with 10 of us married so far. I just love it!

  18. I am 1st of two living children, my brother is 7 years younger. I lost some siblings to abortion, not sure how many, mom will not say. I always wanted a sister, but my brother is just soooo wonderful, I wouldn't trade him :) We are not as close as we would have been if we lived in the same country, but we are still close. I am looking forward to nephews and nieces! And to finally meeting my sister-in-law in person when they come to visit in August. One of my all time favorite pictures is of my brother holding my then two months old middle son. I can't wait to take a picture of him, covered in my growing children :) :)

  19. These are all awesome! I am enjoying running to the computer and reading each new posted comment!

    And Perpetuo... hmmm... I'll have them think on it. Sounds even a bit Shakespearean!

  20. Hmmm, I think my computer ate my comment, LOL. Anyway, my siblingship is complicated...I'm the youngest of two in my adoptive family. My brother is six years older than me. My first mom was not able to have other children so I'm an only child there. I don't know anything about my father (other than his name) - but I have a feeling I have half siblings on that side. I'd be the oldest if that is the case. So I'm the youngest, only, and maybe oldest all wrapped up in one. :)

  21. I am the oldest of three. I have 2 younger brothers (4 and 6 years younger) and they are much closer to each other than I am with them. Always wanted a sister, but wasn't meant to be. So far I am the only to marry and have kids, but the middle sibling is recently engaged, so we'll see! :)

  22. Well, you kind of already know about my biological siblings. :) But - three girls and I get to share "oldest status" with my twin sister (side note: this totally messes up all those theories based on family placement, haha). I consider us all very close, although we all grew up wanting not just 3 of our own, but at least 4 of our own. Our parents split before a 4th child could even be considered for them, so I sometimes wonder if that has something to do with it. We fought plenty as kids, but there is just something unique about that sibling bond where you can grow up throwing hair brushes at each other, and it doesn't do permanent damage. And in some cases, even bonds you. I also have 4 stepsiblings - they are wonderful too! One in particular is pretty much like a biological sibling to me as well, at least in how we relate. I hope and pray we can give our two more siblings!

  23. @Lisa DeLuca

    What was it like having so many siblings?

    1. I second that Joanne ! Talk about huge pots and pans.

    2. I like having a lot of siblings, sometimes growing up I could have done without some of my brothers though ;). The 2 above me in order are barely a year apart (May 25th and May 12th), I came about 2 years later on May 25th (best birthday present my brother ever got), the next 2 are twins and were born July 15th the following year. The 3 youngest were just babies when my mom died (the youngest was 6 mo.). Having step family had it's ups and downs but mostly ups. Many of us were the same ages and we already knew each other since we grew up in a small town. We had a big house 4 bd 2 1/2 baths down stairs and 3 bd 1 bath upstairs. People would always ask, how do you guys eat? to which we replied, with a fork ;). I had a very large wardrobe since I had so many sisters to share clothes with. In HS my sisters and I would dress up and go to a nice dinner together instead of the HS dances. I've been babysitting since I can't even remember, but for my older brothers and sisters and their friends ( $ ), since I was 9. I feel like a child expert without the college degree. I think growing up in large families gets you prepared for many things what with all the different personalities, "bullying", relationships ect. I feel kinda sorry for those who don't get to grow up in a large family. I will never be alone, that's for sure.

  24. From the same two parents I am an only child.

    My dad would have a kid and move on so I have an older half sister (by 5yrs), then two younger brothers and another sister (6yrs, 9yrs and 10 yrs). I met these 4 when I was 21.

    My mom married when I was 2yo and I have two more half brothers (3yrs and 7yrs younger) I grew up with these two and sometimes we liked each other and other times we were at each others throats. Now we are pretty close.

    Both mom and adoptive dad divorced when I was 7yo and eventually both remarried. From my stepdad I have 3 stepbrothers, 2 older 1 younger, and twin sisters who are only 9months older. We spent most of our teens together and we remain in contact. Since they currently live in another state we don't see each other as much as we would like. My adoptive dad's second marriage added 3 more stepsisters who unfortunately I didn't get a chance to know and they recently divorced.

    What a mess the throw away culture creates. Regardless I consider all of them my siblings so I am 4th oldest out of 15. I am closer to some than others.

    My husband and I have 6 total. 2 in heaven, 3 boys (2yrs apart) and we are expecting number 6 (gender unknown) in April 2015. We love having a full house and anxiously await what God has in store for us in the future.

  25. I'm number 7 of 7! 5 brothers and one sister. My oldest brother is 17 years older than I am, it's like we had two separate families, the 4 big boys then a 7 year break, then my sister, another brother and me. My mom always said she wanted 10 boys :) but I think she loved her girls too. We all get along, as with any relationships there are ups and downs but no real issues.

    My husband is number 4 of 5. There is 13 years between him and his oldest brother. They really weren't raised together, older brother was out by time husband was easily influenced but now they are the best of friends! If you want to see something really cool, email me and I'll send you a link to a documentary on the two of them. It was so special and they both said things about each other that they would never have said to each other in "normal" circumstances.

    I grew up in farmland and a tight-knit Mennonite community where grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends all looked out for everybody. I miss that. My kids have missed out on that too.

  26. @ Lisa
    I'm glad you enjoy your siblings. Seems like such a big family could either be a nightmare or something rich and wonderful. i am envious of people with large, loving families.

  27. I have one sister who is 9 1/2 years older. She had to babysit me a lot when she was a teen, and often took me with her on her sketchy adventures. Once I became a teen, though, things got really bad between us. She still lived at home and had a son, and I think she felt insecure about her life and took it out on me.

    We've not been very close for a couple of decades, but there is still a certain loyalty between us. And sadly I think my recent divorce has probably brought us a little closer. (But then again I kept everyone at a distance, trying to hide what was going on behind closed doors.)

    I have five girls, and it's amazing how they love each other, hate each other, and love each other. I really hope that they stay close as they become adults. My husband and I separated in March and he remarried again two weeks after our divorce became final in August, giving my girls two teenage step-sisters. Thankfully, the step-sisters seem to be nice, but I doubt they'll ever fully bond. I think my older girls are a little skeptical about how long this marriage will last anyway.

  28. Barbara, I am so sorry about the divorce! That is devastating. And I am so glad your daughters have each other.

    Johanne, I know many of Lisa's family members in real life. It's amazing to see how many branches there are and to see how they are all connected! For an example of how big and amazing this family is, one (just one!) of Lisa's older brothers had five daughters (they had hoped for more children) and they have about 32 grandchildren and counting! Their girls are amazing, with big families of their own. And grandma and grandpa are barely in their 60s! :)

  29. Youngest of 8, (6g 2b), with 15 years between the bookends. Always dreaded fall as the six oldest were sent to boarding parochial high schools;(they closed by the time #7 and I came of age); in retrospect my mom said she wouldn't recommend it. We have managed to stay close even though scattered across the country.


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