Since the loss of my husband's brother and sister last month, we have spent a lot of time talking about what growing up in a family of 7 was like for him. With 4 boys and a girl in the family (plus their parents), I know that they had their share of squabbles, sharing, and sprinting to the fridge for food. As you might imagine, it wasn't all smiles and popsicles, but there is photo evidence that they all did learn how to smile... Sweetie was the oldest boy in the brood, born three years after his sister.
There was another brother, just 16 months later...
...and another about 18 months after that...
...then the "baby" of the family was born about three years later, which completed the set.
Born before the digital age, there are not many photos of them as kids. Last night, looking through some of these photos for the first time, I was a little overwhelmed at the thought of 5 kids...I don't know that I would have survived that many kids, even though I did have a really good minivan during my childbearing years! Something else struck me as I looked at that last photo, the one with all 5 of them, circa 1973. There are very few pictures of all five of them together at any age, which makes this next photo pretty special to me:
It is not the best photo I have ever taken, a faraway cell-phone shot while I was still learning about how to use my telephone as a camera...but this was the last time I had seen them all together at a family gathering (summer 2010) until this past Christmas. I am kicking myself for not making them pose for a new one in December, but it is what it is. At least I have this picture, all five of them in their parents' back yard at a picnic, and most of them are smiling even.
If you have siblings, cherish them. Even though you may not get along all the time, your siblings are the only people in the world who were raised just like you were. No one but a sister or brother will ever understand your "you know how Mom and Dad used to..." memories, or the "remember when we were little..." giggles. Siblings, you can't choose 'em, but you can choose to love them anyway.
I say that like I'm good at it, but here's my confession: I need to be a better sister. Maybe it's because, despite the shared experience of growing up together and being raised by exactly the same parents, my sister and I have turned out pretty different as adults. Different, however, doesn't mean we can't get along, so here's my apology, too: I'm sorry, Sister. I am working on being a better sister. Please forgive my past performance, and know that I love you.
Now, off I go to do Saturday stuff...maybe there will even be knitting. :)
Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!