Earlier today I was reading through the comments on this HONY post about a young woman who had her tooth chipped after wrestling with her brother. Afterwards, she spends 30 seconds trying to convince her panicked brother that it’s not a big deal:
As 1 of 4 siblings (and an older brother to a younger sister) I couldn’t help but feel a little nostalgic as I read some of the comments:
My big brother goes from being the biggest pain in my ass annoying jerk to one of the nicest most caring persons in my life and sometimes in the matter of seconds lol.
I know my brother can piss me off and I can piss him off, but if he hurt me he always made sure I was okay (and not going to tell mom on him) or he did everything in his power to make it better.
Once my sister pushed me off a bike and I hit my head on the road and it was bleeding a lot. But I didn’t say a word because I could take a hit, but I couldn’t stand my parents yell at my sister. Haha!
My brother [chipped my tooth] when I was 8, he was 6. Except he threw a golf ball at my mouth and I spent the next 2 hours consoling him while he was a hysterical and my parents were trying to find a dentist.
I chipped my brothers tooth when I was 12 and he was 8…spent 30 min convincing him to tell my mom he fell so I didn’t get in trouble. He got me back later in life when he was bigger than me.
I once had a fight with my brother that ended with him accidentally fracturing my knuckle. He couldn’t look me in the eye for days, but he did buy me a couple of stuffed animals as an apology, which I was more than happy to accept.
I accidentally kneed my older brother in the nose and it started bleeding, and at the time I was about 8 so I started crying as he tried to calm me down and say that it’s ok.
My siblings and I used to piss each other off and fight all the time when we were young. Things that seemed reasonable at the time now make absolutely no sense to me now. I often think to myself, “how could I have possibly behaved that way?”, or, “how did I convince myself that it wasn’t my flying elbow smash into my brother’s back that caused him to hit his head on the bedroom door?”
It was even worse with my younger sister. My parents used to force me to do “girl” things with her when I was younger, and you can imagine how thrilled a 12-14 year old boy would be to play with his sister’s barbie dolls. My attempts to weave in the G.I. Joes were usually of little consequence. I was often resentful of the obligation. Most days I wanted nothing to do with her.
Then came the day that my sister came home crying before my parents were home. I asked her what happened. She said some kids on the bus made fun of her. I was furious. The next day, I picked her up from the bus stop, I stormed on to the bus, and I screamed at everybody. I said, in so many words, that anyone who wants to talk shit to my sister is going to have to deal with me afterwards. And if my sister ever came off the bus crying again, I was going to kick someone’s ass. Why the bus driver didn’t intervene, I have no idea. It remains, to this day, one of the few times in my life that I lost all my inhibitions and acted on complete emotion. All I knew is that somebody hurt my sister. Time to go to war.
Fast forward 15 years later. One day my sister hears from my mom that I’ve fallen on hard times and I’m running out of money. She calls me, pissed off that I didn’t tell her about my situation. She tells me that I can come and live with her for free. That I wouldn’t have to pay for a thing. That I could stay there as long as I like, no pressure. When I told her that I was going to stay where I was, she offered to pay my bills. She said if I needed any money to call her. She didn’t care how much it was.
When I was young, I fought with my siblings all the time. Now, as an adult, I find that my emotional health is tied to their well-being in a very profound way. Shortly after I moved out of my parents house, it occurred to me that if I were to lose any of my siblings at this point in my life, the emotional distress it would cause would be so great that I would be utterly useless. My love for my brothers and younger sister is violently strong, despite the fact that we used to piss each other off all the time and kick the shit out of each other when we were young.
I know that not everybody’s relationship with their siblings remains strong as they grow older. It’s a tragedy. My relationship with my siblings is something that I cherish. I still don’t know what it is about sibling relationships that causes them to take on such a strange countenance early in life. But I’m glad that as an adult, my relationship with my siblings is stronger than it’s ever been.