Hanging out with so many old friends and family makes me think about myself. Oh wait, I already do that all the time. What I really mean is, it makes me more introspective. I think about where I come from, especially how my personality has been shaped by my family, particularly my brother and sisters, and how their personalities have been shaped by me.
I have three siblings. Many people are surprised by this. I have an older brother, Jesse, who is a college professor and two younger sisters. Leslie is the one who just got married, and then Carrie is quite a bit younger and is still in college. Most of my childhood and into adolescence I was a middle child, and then when Carrie was born I still continued that role but also took on the more important role of second oldest, and oldest girl. I know my sisters look up to me for examples whether they like to admit it (or whether I do either) or not, and that my opinion is probably more important to them than it should be. Though I am the oldest girl in the family, I don’t actually know everything.
When you live far away from your siblings, it’s easy to forget the role they play in your life. But pretty much all of my interactions with people today have a basis with how I learned to interact with my siblings (and parents) growing up. I shared a room with Leslie for many years growing up, and then we lived together in Cleveland for several years as well, so we are closer than the others. Jesse used to live fairly near me in Ohio so for a year or so we saw each other more often, but now we tend to run into each other at family weddings and funerals only. I know he reads this blog though, and my Mom likes to keep us all up to date on each other. Carrie is your typical 20 year old and doesn’t have much time or desire to chat with annoying "old people" so she just sighs and rolls her eyes a lot. (I’m half kidding).
Luckily we got a picture of the four of us at Leslie’s wedding (well, this is the rehearsal dinner.) Who knows when we’ll all be together again? Carrie, Leslie, me, and Jesse, in order from left to right, youngest to oldest, and oddly, shortest to tallest as well. How many families have the kids in exact height order like that? (Leslie is wearing flats and slouching a bit, otherwise she’d be more obviously taller than Carrie).
I know I could write tons more on sibling interaction, but I won’t. I should read more on it I think—does anybody have any good book recommendations about siblings and birth order and the impact on people’s lives? Do you have siblings? Are you close?