We’re not close, my siblings and I. This is a statement I will freely make to anyone who inquires. My feelings about them range from a general lack of interest in their daily lives (alongside a vague hope that all is well) to an active worry about their future well-being based on the general unmotivated directionless paths the younger ones seem to be on (coupled with the feeling that I’ve gone above and beyond my big-sisterly duties in trying to help motivate/direct/assist them). This must sound so harsh to people like those populating my Facebook feed with “I wouldn’t be the person I am without my sister” posts, like my friends (and boyfriend) have today. If some shit went down, I would avail myself to them in whatever ways I am able, because that’s what families do.
I have cute photos of my little brother and sister (half-siblings on my mom’s side, who I lived with during all of my childhood) and probably some including my ex-stepbrother (does one stop being someone’s sibling after a divorce?) that I could take a picture of and post to Facebook #FBF #NationalSiblingDay. It would be easy. But it would also be incredibly disingenuous. The last time I posed for a photo with any of my siblings was likely about two and a half years ago, at my little brother’s high school graduation. I’ve seen him and my sister maybe a dozen times between then and now, mostly for the holidays, with a few random trips home sprinkled in. But we don’t have conversations, really. I see them when I’m home and we interact and it’s usually mostly fine, but we don’t talk about shit. My sister and I very briefly did that during the one year she went away to college and it didn’t end well. I don’t value my siblings’ opinions on matters; I don’t even ask them, to be honest. I slightly look forward to seeing them after long absences, but am usually disappointed by the reality. It never feels like a reunion. If I wasn’t related to my siblings, I would not voluntarily interact with them. (Even that didn’t stop my sister at Christmastime, as you may recall.)
I don’t want harm to befall them. I hope they figure out what it is they want from life, and I hope they get it. I hope they don’t struggle. If there is a concrete need they have and approach me about that I am able to help them with without compromising my security or values, I would do it. But all of that being said, I think my siblings and I lack this genuine closeness or sibling bond that I see people celebrating today. I endeavor to be cordial in person/on the phone (with my older sister), and never forget to acknowledge anyone’s birthday. But these things do not familial love make. If I hold my relationships with my siblings to the bell hooks standard I like to use in these here parts to talk about love, it falls faaaaaaar flat.
I don’t like admitting that. But we traffic in the ugliest of emotions and realizations around here, so here we are. It is National Siblings Day, and if I am being very honest, I don’t like any of my siblings very much. I have in fact often cited the possibility of having children like my younger brother and sister as one of the reasons the idea of having kids does not appeal to me (and those who know me well and have for a long time nod with a full understanding of why this scares me so).
Since she didn’t acknowledge my birthday in January, or during the aforementioned Christmas shitshow, and she was at work when boo and I dropped by my mom’s house in October, I am unsure that I have exchanged verbal words with my little sister since last September. We texted twice in December, when I was trying to make Christmas arrangements.
I wrote on my little brother’s wall today, saying “Apparently it’s National Siblings Day. So…hi!” He replied instantly “lmfao hey Maya.” We exchanged gifts this Christmas: I asked him what he wanted and he said a phone case or a micro SD card. These were easy gifts and I got him both. He took me to Target with him on Christmas Eve to have me pick out something for him to get me for Christmas. I got a cute stylus for my tablet computer that looks like a Number 2 pencil. Our relationship is functional for the most part, even if we tease each other a lot.
My older sister is the only sibling I may have verbally spoken to this year. I can’t remember if we actually talked on my birthday or just exchanged voicemails. We talked either on her birthday at the end of December or mine at the end of January, just for a few minutes. Her daughter is graduating from college this year, and strangely neither she nor my niece have mentioned it to me/invited me to the graduation, but my father has asked multiple times if I’m coming. This sister, my father’s first daughter from a marriage in his early twenties, is gorgeous and quite religious. She lives in California, drives a BMW convertible, and has a tiny dog named Dolce that she carries around in a purse. I just…no.
I think I last saw my ex-stepbrother at my little brother’s graduation. He was wary of coming because his father was rumored to be planning to attend, but that didn’t happen because that man is incapable of keeping his word. He is 4 months younger than me, and was lost to us for a period of about 7 years after their divorce, due largely to his mother being jealous of how close he felt to our family, but found us on Facebook during my junior year of college. He has an associate’s degree in an IT-related field and goes to the gym a lot. I got drunk with him a couple times in college because he lived nearby Princeton, but our relationship devolved into texts on holidays when I moved to DC.
…Happy siblings day to me and mine. *shrug *