How many of you have siblings? Now how many of you are close to your siblings?

My Mom is 1 of 6. She has 4 sisters and 1 brother. She doesn’t really see or talk to her brother much. But she’s pretty close to her sisters. She sees them as often as possible and talks to them at least once a week if not more.

Rob is the oldest of six. He has 3 brothers and 2 sisters. He’s pretty close with them too. We see them as often as possible and he talks to them on the phone once every week or two.

Enter the reason behind this particular blog. I, being the odd woman out, have one single baby brother. Although, admittedly, he’s not a “baby” anymore at 17 years old. There are 10 1/2 years between us. All I ever wished for growing up was “a baby brother or sister”. Every fountain wish. Every birthday wish. Letter to Santa. You name it and I asked, begged and wished for a sibling to/from them.

Somewhere around my 9th birthday I came to grips with the reality of being an only child. Not long after I had made my piece with my sibling-less station in life, my parents announced they were surprisingly pregnant! (It was a much more traumatic experience than that but we won’t go there. Right Mom? lol) Now I was thrilled the whole pregnancy that my wishes were finally coming true. Then he was born. In that moment I realized that I did actually care if it was a brother or a sister. And I suddenly found myself wishing I had been a bit more specific in my wishing. Lol (I actually told my Dad to “put him back” but he said Mom wasn’t going for that. At the time I didn’t completely understand why. Needless to say, I understand now. lol)

There I was 10 1/2 years old with this new little brother. Who, for the record, was *nothing* like what I had imagined. He wasn’t the least bit fun. And then as we grew up, he was mildly spoilt. (Okay, so was I but at 10 1/2 years old I didn’t see that. lol) In all honesty, I spent a large portion of the rest of my childhood either ignoring him or giving him a hard time. I’m growing to regret this decision.

I see my mom with her siblings and Rob with his siblings; and I’m envious. I wish I were closer to Zachary. At this point, I don’t even know how to go about trying to build a relationship with him. He’s 17. My Mom said to give him a few years. That she became really close with her youngest sister only after they had grown up and married, started working on starting families.

Maybe it’s the ADHD in me. Maybe it’s the fact that everyday I stare down the idea of losing my family. Or the fact that he has a chronic disease and as his big sister I just want to make it all better and protect him. I only wish I knew how. Even on a basic, almost superficial level. I wish I knew how to connect with him, befriend him. I wish I knew how to be a better big sister.