National Siblings Day: A Tribute

What exactly is National Siblings Day? I have only known about it because of my friends’ posts on Facebook the past few years. However, after doing a bit of research, I have learned that Claudia Evart started Siblings Day in 1995, after she lost both of her siblings at young ages. Evart chose April 10th for the holiday because it was her sister’s birthday. The day is purposed to honor, celebrate, and remember our siblings. However, many of us may not have biological siblings, but we can certainly find a sibling-figure in our life to celebrate with.

Chosen. Technically, I am an only child. I am the only one in the world with DNA from both my mother and father. They divorced when I was about 16-months old, so a sibling was just not in the cards. Instead, I made friends in our neighborhood with another only child who was two years younger. She and I did everything together–played house and school, learned to ride bikes, went to her family’s cabin, went water skiing, swam in my pool, and sledded on the hill between our houses. Our dads even mowed a path through the field between our houses for us. Even as we grew up, went to different schools and I moved out of state, we have still stayed good friends and were even in each others’ weddings. She was my first chosen sibling. 

Biological. Not until my parents each remarried did I have the joy of finally becoming a biological big sister. When I was nine years old, my dad and stepmom had my brother. Then a year later, my mom and stepdad had my sister. Technically they are half siblings, but that never made a difference. I was very excited to visit them at the hospital and even more excited to have them at home. Because of the age difference, we were never playmates like I was with my friend, rather I was more like a babysitter and mini-mom. It was not until we were older that we became much closer. My brother grew up in another state and we only saw each other a few times a year. When he was in high school, he visited me for a week and helped me move and paint our new house. My sister and I grew up in the same house and naturally spent more time together, but it wasn’t until she was in college and I had kids that we became really close. She even moved in with us after she graduated college and was figuring out her next steps–conveniently at the same time I had my second child and needed extra help. Those six months were the best in our relationship, as was the week with my brother. Relating to my siblings as adults has been an invaluable experience for all of us. 

National Siblings Day: A Tribute | Twin Cities Moms Blog

{Photo credit: Sarah Elizabeth Photography}

Next Generation. Since I did not grow up with siblings from the beginning, I really wanted my own immediate family to have that experience. We were incredibly fortunate to have our kids two years and four months apart, even after a miscarriage between them. Seeing their relationship grow has been the most rewarding experience so far. From the moment I told my daughter there was a baby brother in my uterus, she would talk, sing, and even tuck him in with a blanket to take a nap with him. He was crying when she visited him in the hospital. She put her lovey on him, hugged him, and he immediately stopped crying. When he was a little bigger, she wanted to share a room with him, which actually solved her three years of sleep issues. Now they play, learn, and of course get into trouble together…which provides me with LOTS of writing material. Of course it is definitely a love-hate relationship as they fight a lot too. Spending quality one-on-one time (we call them dates) with each child has definitely helped curb the fighting and provides great bonding for the parents too. 

Siblings provide built-in best friends for life no matter how they are related to us. Not all biological siblings get along well, which is why we always have the choice to find those chosen siblings. Growing up, and even as adults, we need those close unconditional friends, to share experiences with, help each other, and grow with. I am incredibly thankful for all of my siblings and of course, my children. Happy Siblings Day!

Here is some more information for when those sibling relationships may not be going the way you would like: 

Sibling Day Foundation

Between Brothers & Sisters: A Celebration of Life’s Most Enduring Relationship

Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Too

Beyond Sibling Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Become Cooperative, Caring and Compassionate

Love Each One Best: A Caring and Practice Approach to Raising Siblings

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