sistering

Some, who like to follow lunar cues for the seasonal sabbats, will have celebrated Lammas on yesterday’s full moon. As well as feeling far too summery to think about the start of autumn, my focus for celebration for the early part of this week is my brother’s birthday.

A friend of my mum’s once advised my brother and I – I think in the midst of a childhood squabble – that your siblings are your lifelong friends. That’s quite special. It certainly feels very special to me to have watched this person grow from the hours-old newborn I met him as to the awesome, talented, sensitive (and so much more) man he is today.

This guy features in most of my childhood memories, knows me better than almost anyone and has lavished me with unbelievable patience and forgiveness at times.  This is why, when I married, making my brother Male of Honour instead of having bridesmaids felt the natural choice for me.Geography, finances and time commitments mean that I don’t see my little brother nearly as much as I’d like but the pride I felt in him when, for example, I’ve watched the short films he’s made, is akin to the pride I feel in my little boy’s milestones and achievements. This is what I celebrate.

“Sister” is a role that features in a list that describes who I am, along with wife, daughter, mama, friend, homemaker, holistic therapist, crafter etc. Four of those roles being female ones – and others stereotypically so – I guess it contributes to my understanding of my femininity.”Sistering” isn’t anything in particular that I do or that I’ve done; for me it’s quite a passive role of being a female peer in a unique lifelong bond, feeling a lot of feelings (protectiveness, pride again, peace in the grateful knowledge that, however many the miles between us, our relationship will not fade, like a friendship can). It’s the humbling  feeling of unconditional love, it’s a beautiful gift I’ve been unwrapping since I was three-and-a-bit years old.

A family birthday can, let’s face it, all too easily be reduced to another “to-do” on the list; present and card to organise, maybe an event to find time to attend. But it’s an opportunity to reflect on our relationship with that person; our role in their lives and theirs in ours.

Happy birthday A.xxxx    ♥

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