As the oldest of five children, I have been blessed with two sisters and two brothers. I have always appreciated them, but perhaps even more so over the last six years. That's when I moved across country and could no longer experience our weekly get-togethers.
My parents had five children in a seven-year span. Each one of us unique. We have all always had each other’s backs.
If you were lucky enough to live at home as an adult, your name would find itself on mom’s “list” which included household chores. It is a big house, and needed to be, for such a large family. In fact my mother begins her list and sentence upon addressing us as “Children …”
It is no wonder with today, April 10th, being National Siblings Day that I am a little more nostalgic.
According to the Siblings Foundation, “Sibling bonds are life-long relationships, usually lasting from early childhood to the golden years. It is usually the longest relationship of a person’s life and typically endures much longer than our relationships with our mothers and fathers. Because of the blood relationship, we look alike and enjoy feelings of closeness which may never be surpassed.”
My siblings have had such a profound effect on me that to this day I end my Hail Mary prayer with, “and God bless Joanne (that’s me) Jennifer, Maria, Frankie and Joey.”
There was once a time where all of us “children” were in the same Catholic school. Did I mention it was also the same grade school both of my parents attended? My Italian Catholic upbringing has been a vital part in forming the values that were instilled in me and my siblings. We reinforced those values in each other growing up.
According to theguardian.com, “No other peer relationship involves a shared upbringing, shared genes and shared secrets. Studies show the importance as you get older of having friendly siblings for companionship reminiscences (stories of family holidays are boring for anyone else) and practical support.”
Those holiday memories included lining up, seated at the top of the steps in age-appropriate order, so my father could film us with the movie camera coming down the stairs.