I don't believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at. ~Maya Angelou
I am not sure what I thought my relationship would be with my brothers at this point in my life, but I never dreamed it would be as it is. We are seven years apart which means that I am 14 years older than my youngest brother. Growing up I had little to do with my middle brother, and being so much older I was more maternal to my youngest brother (considering the countless hours of babysitting). With seven years between us, we grew up as three siblings each an only child. Fast forward to 2009. We are all adults (at least by age). We each have distinct personalities and have become great friends. It is quite amazing, even surprising.
Of course, we are shared characters in a myriad of “growing up” stories. Of Marc, I remember that he spent much of his time alone in his bedroom playing with Legos. Once I blamed him for pushing me over causing stitches; a lie which to this day he has difficulty forgiving. Evan was the baby, but in order to coax him to behave I would scare him into thinking the police would come take him away if he didn’t do exactly as I wished. Funny thing is that it worked.
As Maya Angelou so eloquently penned, “brotherhood is a condition people have to work at” and we have. We are three unique people. Marc is pragmatic, Evan idealistic and me; somewhere in-between. As in any relationship we have made many concessions, overlooked little annoyances, and continually commit to strengthening our bond.
I often wonder what makes our relationship so special. I trace this back to our parents and their notion of how children should be raised. Having a sense self, the ability to articulate your views, loving people for who they are and a commitment to God were the foundation of our upbringing. These tenets are now the cornerstone of the relationship between my brothers and me. Laughter and sarcasm along with deep theological and moral discussions clutter our conversations. It may seem an odd coupling, but it works.
Some say a sister’s bond is extraordinary, but I say give me brothers any day.