Your siblings are your constant. They are that friend you may not want, but you know you need. But more importantly they are your memory keepers. My children (and obviously my stepchildren) are survivors of divorce. They travel back and forth from house to house, and have had to deal with their parents dating and then marrying other people. They have had to have their family destroyed and then recreated and no one has seen it all from their perspective other than their siblings. I don’t go to their dad’s house and sleep with them, I am not there for the special moments they share. I am no longer familiar with the rituals and habits that they may have, but their sisters are. Even their step siblings have become memory keepers as they have grown together as a new family and the challenges that can sometimes present themselves.
It has always been important to me that my kids are raised close; that they understand that they may have friends but their best friend is their sister. Their siblings see them at their best and at there worst. There is no hiding who you really are from them. No matter the fight or the pettiness your sibling is a part of you. This philosophy has extended to their step siblings as they share a family now.
The fact is that my brothers are my memory keepers, and my younger brother is most definitely my best friend. I cannot pretend to be something I am not with him and vice versa. We get each other and our references in a way our spouses can’t. He was there for my childhood, the teen years, the pimples, insecurities, the boyfriends, marriages and divorce. He saw it all. He has seen me shift, grow, transform as I have seen him and I explain to my kids that it will be the same for them and to cherish that. I have spoken the importance of family and more specifically of their sisters since they were born. I repeat it often and it has become part of all they know.