There is a saying my Dad would always say to us when he wanted to make us laugh, “You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend's’ nose.” This saying was usually met with a chorus of “eww” as we all dodged each other's fingers, but my dad was absolutely right, you can pick your friends. Family on the other hand, is luck of the draw. Still, there is something pretty magical that happens when you take your relationships with your family members to the next level and become friends. Specifically, when you become friends with your siblings. Now, I’m not meaning Facebook-obligatory- like their posts-friendships. I am talking about daily contact- genuine interest in their lives- wanting to see them more than during the holidays-secret language-friendship.
It’s true it is not always easy to be friends with your brothers and sisters, and there may be periods of time when you are closer to one over the other. But the beauty of this is, you will never be without each other. Family is forever, and if you are lucky enough to consider your brothers and sisters your friends, you will always have someone there for you. Now, being friends with your siblings can happen naturally, but there are elements to it that take work. When you have a busy life, you have to decide to be friends with each other and make the effort just as you would with any other relationship. That being said, long ago I decided that my brothers and sisters were more than just my siblings, they were also my friends, and I soon discovered he following are reasons why being friends with your siblings is the best:
1. You will never run out of inside jokes
No matter who you are, sharing an inside joke with someone is one of the most fun ways to feel connected. When it comes to the people you grew up with, there are a plethora of moments that when reminded of will evoke endless giggles and eye watering laughter- usually while other people look at you in confusion.
2. So much between you is unspoken
There are multiple layers of understanding and familiarity with your siblings and so, when you talk to each other, you are able to surpass the backstory and get right to the heart of the matter. Answering each other’s text messages with one word, or a GIF works because there is already a lifetime of context to rely on.
3. You have seen them at their worst moments and still want to be around them
Think about all the gross things you have seen your siblings do growing up. Maybe one of you was a terrible person as a teenager, or went through a weird phase. Whatever bad or gross things we have witnessed our siblings do, it hasn’t scared us away. We didn’t really have a choice when we were younger, and now that we do, it’s forgotten- or it gets added to the list of things we use to make fun of each other- see #1.
4. No one knows you better
I would like to think as we age, we also grow. We learn from our mistakes and we become better people. That being said, our siblings know who we are at our core, and that doesn’t change. Since the development of our personalities are intertwined with each other no matter how we change, our siblings will always know us best, and there will be very few people in our lives who can say the same.
5. The Love
The love that exists between siblings is only second to the love between children and parents. Even the love between spouses takes a close third. I have the privilege of remembering when each of my siblings were born, and the instant rush of emotions I had for them when I first laid eyes on them is a feeling I can’t explain. Only seeing my own child after her birth can top the moment. The love in a friendship between brothers and sisters creates an unbreakable bond, and it is for this reason that friendships like this are meant to last forever.
I am excited for the day when my daughter has a little brother or sister of her very own to play with, take care of, and love. I only hope that I can instill the same sense of closeness that my parents instilled in me and my siblings. At the very least, my brothers, sisters, and I will be a model for all of our children, just as my father and his siblings have been for us.
I know I’m lucky to have this kind of relationship with my brothers and sister, and I’m grateful everyday that the universe chose me to be their sister, and more so that they chose me to be their friend.