Siblings are born for adversity and absurdity – Adventures with Abby

I’m fairly certain that the bond between siblings is one of the oddest and strongest relationships in this world. 

Several days ago, while my parents were on a Zoom meeting in our living room, my high-school-aged brother and sister piled on my bed with me to watch Netflix on my laptop. 

I ended up sitting squished in the middle, with my brother’s head jammed against my right shoulder and my sister squeezed into the space on my left, grabbing my arm during the scary parts. 

Partway through an episode, I had a sudden flashback to the many childhood Christmas mornings when my siblings and I sat in my bed the same way, waiting for a reasonable time to go downstairs. 

Siblings are peculiar friends.

We grow up in the same house, eat the same food and wear each other’s clothing. Essentially, our siblings know us better than just about any other human being. 

This can be incredibly humbling.

For example, I am the loudest chewer in the world — at least according to my younger brother and sister. Apparently there were also several years of my life where my yawns sounded  exactly like a squeaky old rocking chair. 

At times, having siblings can be hurtful. I’ve taken my bad attitude out on my siblings more times than I can count, and they have returned the favor. 

Yet when anyone outside the family hurts or insults a sibling, the others prepare for battle. 

My blood boils when my brother tells me about neighbors who see his beautiful, dark Hispanic skin tone and suggest he find somewhere other than our neighborhood to ride his bike. 

When someone slights my sister or takes advantage of her non-confrontational nature, it is all I can do not to fight them — which is saying something, since I am about as fit as a tomato and equally as unskilled in combat. 

In turn, my siblings have both offered to fight people who have hurt me. In fact, there are times where I think I’d be more worried about introducing a guy to my siblings than I would my parents.

Having siblings also means you have your own form of communication. Instead of saying goodbye, my sister just declared, “Remember, communism is a flawed form of government,” and left. 

I have often greeted my brother by shoving my phone in his face and asking, “Do you want to see this funny meme? Of course you do, move over.”

My siblings and I often have entire conversations composed of pop culture references, which causes our mother more than a little confusion.

Sometimes, you don’t even need words. My personal favorite is the knowing look that says “the thing that just happened is absolutely hilarious but we’re not going to talk about it,” followed closely by the “I see you are uncomfortable. Is there anything I can do about it?” look. 

Because, despite the occasional frustrations and fights, we love each other and look out for each other. 

While we’re cooped up at home, I encourage you to take the time to appreciate your siblings. They are a gift.

Abby Bowman is the Opinion Editor. Follow her on Twitter @AbbyRBowman

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