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Saturday Without Sister And Thoughts on Siblings

January 16, 2011

With Lil off at a sleepover Friday night, Rosie was on her own, without her constant companion. Sometimes, these absences go off without a hitch and other times, Rosie’s need for her sister leads to meltdowns. Friday evening went well, though, as she and Bobby lounged together in the family room and watched a classic cartoons dvd together until Rosie’s bedtime. And then the loneliness, even though the girls are in separate bedrooms, set in.

 “Who’s going to be with me?” Rosie asked several times, and Rick and I looked around our rather cluttered living room at various toys and stuffed animals to see who could be with her. We went through many of them. 
“What about that dinosaur?”
“No–too sharp.”
“What about that bear? That cat? The old lady who swallowed a fly? The tribble? A chicken? What about Sisko? Picard? Kirk?”
“Kirk!” And she ran to get it off the shelf. “Can I take him off the stand?”
And off she went to bed, happy. No tears. No problems. Yay Kirk! And here it is Sunday and she’s still carrying him around and he’s still sleeping with her. And really annoying her sister Lil, who returned with her friend for a sleepover here last evening. Lil keeps ordering her to put him back on his stand and on the shelf. 
Saturday morning saw Rosie lining her toys up and engaging in an elaborate party and insisting pictures be snapped. She chattered away all morning nonstop (and all afternoon at her grandmothers).

This kitty was being very non-cooperative at the party; what a diva!
Siblings provide the framework for who we are, our position in life.We jockey for position, we compete, we confide, and we decide who we are in our families in relation to our siblings. Sometimes our personalities clash so drastically that hate is the dominant emotional experience. Sometimes, it’s apathy. And sometimes it’s a messy mix of emotions. But sometimes, the accidental cosmos conspires to give us siblings who complete us. For my three, they orbit each other, and the girls are often inseparable, tethered together, with their brother orbiting around tightly; they are close. Yes, they argue, they bicker, but they are close in a way that is lovely to watch, especially considering their spectrum status and their relative isolation in the larger world. Here at home, with each other, there is no otherness, no difference. They are.
They speak each other’s language; they see through the same eyes, speak with the same tongue, breathe with the same lungs. Their hearts beat in tandem. They will never be alone, never know what it is to be  not understood. They get each other. We should all be so lucky to be seen and accepted so completely, to move through this world as part of a triad. And so far (and since they are 21, 9, and 7, perhaps there won’t be?), there’s none of that competition for placement, for top dog status, that reflect my own sibling experiences, none of that messy mix of emotions. And I am almost envious, but mostly relieved. And perhaps inspired to work harder at what comes so effortlessly to them.
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