After I had my first child, like most couples, my husband and I talked about whether to have another. We discussed the advantages and disadvantages, but having grown up with two sisters myself, this was a very easy decision for me. That answer was a definite ‘yes.’
Like all siblings, my sisters and I had rivalries. We had disagreements, arguments, and no joke … a couple knock-down, drag-out fights. (In fact, during one fight between my two sisters, one of them ended up with a black eye! My mom had a tough time explaining that one to the teachers, even way back in the ’70s.) As a sister, though, I always felt the benefits far outweighed the drawbacks. Of course, there were drawbacks.
First, my sisters and I were three, which occasionally put one of us on the outside. Though most of the time we were ‘all for one and one for all,’ every now and then there was a situation where one of us got a bit dislodged from the clan. This was the main reason I was certain I wanted to have another child after giving birth to my eldest; I wanted her to have a pal. Thankfully, my two girls formed a buddy alliance that thrives to this day.
Another reason I wanted a sibling for my firstborn was because I grew up in a home with only one parent. Looking back I see that if my sisters and I had not had each other to occupy our time and imaginations, my poor mother, already with too much on her plate, would have had to allot considerable more attention to her only child. I’m sure being a divorced mom is difficult enough already.
Of course, having two sisters can be taxing. From my perspective as the eldest, I do recall just a smattering of, shall we say, indignation for being put in the position of having to ‘warm up’ my mom for my younger sisters. I had to wait until much later in childhood to do certain things, such as dating or even just getting my first pair of cool jeans. (This was the 60s and 70s, so young girls wearing jeans was not as conventional as today.) I was well into my teens before I was afforded some of the privileges my sisters enjoyed much younger than I. Paving the way for them, quite candidly, irked me.
Another advantage, however, of having siblings (especially two younger siblings) … I began developing, I must say, rather keen business skills. All the years we were growing up, my sisters and I played a lot of the usual games girls do. One day while playing ‘store,’ I noted a captivating item among my youngest sister’s inventory. Not pleased with its hefty price tag, I haggled a discount out of the young merchant. I then took the purchase back to my own store, hiked up the price, and used my sway as the eldest to sell the item to my other sister at a nice little profit. Pretty funny, if I do say so myself.
All jokes aside, the best thing now about having siblings: Having buried those old childhood resentments and rivalries, along with my two grown daughters, I now have two more best friends. Growing up with siblings can be a challenge, but having siblings as an adult is a blessing.