”They say that no matter how old you become, when you are with your siblings, you revert back to childhood.” – Karen White
This quote hits a nerve for sure – especially for my youngest sister who finds our sibling get togethers a little overwhelming after a few days.
With four of us in the family, two in NZ and two in Australia, it is not often we get together but when we do, it is often a noisy reunion with lots of laughter, hugs and kisses all round and lots of eating of family favourites – most of them deliciously unhealthy.
Apparently, my youngest sister’s older siblings start off with gentle enquiries about her family of four children, we offer quiet advice about how to handle her family situations and then move on to her husband’s health, her life style choices and sometimes even her financial decisions.
After a day or so, we start over-riding any recommendations she may have, we sometimes forget she has an opinion and are enthusiastic advisers in “helping” her improve her daily life decisions.
By all accounts, by day three, we forget to include her in any decision-making processes, we forget she has an opinion and sometimes we even forget she’s there. She tends to revert back to being the quiet, gentle and shy person we all know and love, while we three older siblings remain totally oblivious of her frustrations towards us.
This year we siblings are gathering once again. We are taking a cruise together for our brother’s significant birthday – As the oldest sibling, I shall do everything in my power to remember my youngest sister is not aged 6, nor is she still 16 or even 26. She is a grown woman with a family of her own and quite capable of making up her own mind………………BUT, as the number one child, it is up to me to make any family decisions that need to be made, to look after the welfare of everyone in the family and to offer timely advice where it is needed, so I feel sure that when she expresses irritation at her older siblings, she doesn’t really mean me………………………..surely!!