I grew up in a very noisy household with four brothers, one sister, three cats, two dogs, a few fish and of course with my parents, in the flat Norfolk plains. As the middle child (yes I claimed that title) I would spend a fair amount of my time with my face glued to a book of some sort in a desperate attempt to ignore the yells, moans and random noises made by my siblings as they went about their daily lives in our overcrowded detached house.
Often, I would find myself saying a silent prayer that by some miracle I was not actually related to those deranged creatures who I was most unfortunate to share parents with and that there had obviously been some mistake around the time of my birth. The younger me passionately disliked her siblings, all five of them. Why would I care for the boys who mocked me for what I read, what I wore and who I liked at school? Why would I love the sister who could do no wrong in our parents’ eyes and was given the things and opportunities that I never had? If you had asked me as a teenager what I thought about siblings; in particular my very own siblings I would have most probably laughed, called them something rather unflattering and wished them to the darkest depths of hell.
However, as with many things in life, feelings change and the world becomes very different as you grow up. Now when I consider my siblings, I don’t think of how much I desperately want to run away from them but how much I miss them and even our daily spats. When contemplating what a sibling meant to me, I decided to go straight to the source and asked the advice of my very own. The responses I got back were as predicted: seriousness from the girls (I included my sisters-in-law in the advice seeking) and vague humour from the boys.
But the interesting thing was at some point in the middle of my family group chat I got the same reply: Siblings are the Soul of the Family. They have the ability to love someone unconditionally and dislike them simultaneously. They are our biggest secret keepers and the ultimate blackmailers, your partner(s) in crime and your biggest competition for your inheritance, and when it comes to it, who needs a phone charger anyway?
Written by Rhian Lanckmans
Looking to broaden your horizons? Our next blog looks at family trees and how you can start your own!