Wikipedia defines a sibling as:
One of two or more individuals having one or both parents in common. A male sibling is called a brother, and a female sibling is called a sister. In most societies throughout the world, siblings usually grow up together, facilitating the development of strong emotional bonds such as love, hostility or thoughtfulness. The emotional bond between siblings is often complicated and is influenced by factors such as parental treatment, birth order, personality, and personal experiences outside the family.
I know all too well that the bond between siblings can be complicated.
I have 2 brothers, 1 half-brother, 2 half-sisters, 1 step-sister and I had 1 step-brother. The phrase, ‘it’s complicated’ comes to mind when I think about my family structure.
One thing it’s taught me is that it’s not genetics or marital relationships that make a person your sibling. The strength of your ties doesn’t rely on you having shared a room, a mother or a father. The closeness of your relationship can’t be defined by the prefixes ‘full’, ‘half’ or ‘step’.
Of all my siblings I am closest to my sister who by definition is my ex-step-sister. She is 6 years older than me. We never lived in the same home growing up. Her father (through adoption) and my mother have not been in a relationship for over 10 years and no longer talk to each other.
Despite our family tree looking like some sort of crazy patchwork, we have the strongest bond. She knows me better than anyone in my family and despite living over 10,000 miles apart she is the first person in my family I would call with any news. We can talk every other day, or not for weeks, but our connection doesn’t change. She is my sister. I know without hesitation that I am there for her, and she is there for me.
I find it hard sometimes looking at my children play together knowing that I can’t control whether they will have the sort of bond my sister and I have. I hope they’re there for one another through whatever life throws their way.
The Gallery theme this week is bond. Go and read some of the beautiful posts and feast on some gorgeous photos that people have linked up thanks to Tara‘s inspiration.