Sisters : Flowers from the Same Garden

I want to thank all of those of you who responded to my questions yesterday; I was warned that my questions may have been too direct and that you might be reluctant to be as open as I am, so I was truly thrilled to receive so many positive comments. I now know more about some of my readers, why you are interested in my blog and how my writing makes you feel and that makes me feel more connected to you. So thank you, I now also have some more ideas for future blogs banked.

Yesterday was National Siblings Day and I would like to share more with you about my relationship with my sister. There were just the two of us in our family and we used to sing together as children. We did not play together very much as my older sister wanted to be a teacher and so she only ever wanted to play schools and teach me as a child, and I was not keen on being taught. I preferred to dress up and play in my imagination in the garden. We were lucky enough to have a small field opposite us where we grew up and we used to play in the roots of trees beside the river, they were our tree houses and we had one each. Once my sister went to High School, she is two and a half years older than me, she was suddenly more grown up than me and she was too grown up to play beside the river.

When I was almost 12 years old, we moved from Scotland, where we had lived most of my childhood, to England and I began a new high school, where I did well as I had an excellent grounding in Maths and English from our traditional Scottish primary school. My sister struggled more as while I started in the first year, when everyone was new, she had to join school in her O’ level year when everyone had made their friends already. But she studied O, then A levels and then went away to University, where I would visit her and dream of being old enough to go to University too.

We were close as children , but never as close as we have been as adults, since we have both been married, had our children and grieved our parents together. Since lockdown opened up, we have seen each other regularly and Joshua adores his Auntie. We live less than 2 hours apart, so day trips – like the one we are making today for lunch – are possible, and we have started to meet halfway too, so that neither one does all of the driving.

I would be lost without my sister and we see each other , and speak together, regularly. My friend who has seen us together a few times recently, thinks that we are the same but different; We have the same upbringing and foundations, but our lives have taken different twists and turns. It is this relationship with my sister, that makes me sad for Joshua that he is an only child. He has missed out on a very special bond by not having any siblings. We tried to give him a sibling, but with three miscarriages and a failed investigation into adoption, we accepted that Joshua was going to be our only son. I have always been jealous of the SEN families where the child with special needs has a brother or sister to take good care of them and to defend them when necessary. Those siblings will go to the end of the earth for their special family member and it makes them comfortable with other SEN children. So many of the staff at Joshua’s special school had chosen that vocation because they had a family member with special needs, particularly those with siblings, and it gave them special insight and skill.

So let us celebrate all of our siblings on this day and remember how different, and how much poorer, our lives would be without them.

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