This week on the Open Book Blog Hop we’re talking about brothers and sisters.
When I was a young girl I’d ask my mother when I was going to get a brother or sister. Always the same reply would come back; I’d put her off having more babies for the rest of her life, and there would never be another. She stuck to this answer for the rest of her childbearing years, leaving me as an only child. I grew up under the impression that I was somehow the personification of evil. My mother always delighted in telling me that Dad would listen to me screaming and ask her what they had done wrong, and why was it that they had been punished so much.
Dramas aside, I grew into a solitary soul, content with my own company (as I still am) , but sometimes envious of my 10 cousins, as each had siblings except me. I grew up with my cousins, and I am here today to tell you what became of their relationships with their own brothers and sisters. I will also tell of the relationship my husband Sam has with his own 2 sisters.
My dad’s brother and his wife had 4 children. I’ll call them Linda, Suzy, Alan and Adrian. My dad’s sister and her husband had 2 girls, Wendy and Diane, and my mum’s brother and his wife had 4 children, Mary, Mark, David and Peter. I won’t go into how they were brought up; I’ll just tell you what happened to them.
We’ll start with my dad’s brother’s 4. Linda wanted to live apart from the noise of a large family from an early age, and took up residence in the garden shed for years until she married (and subsequently divorced). Alan and Adrian married and moved far away from each other and were never that close. Suzy married and still tries to have get-togethers to keep the family spirit alive, although the other three do not always turn up.
My mum’s brother’s 4 are all at each other’s throats. Mary married and divorced, Mark never married and still lives at home, David married several times and moved to Ireland, and Peter moved to Saudi Arabia many years ago. Each one hates the other three. Mary wants Mark to sell the house he and his father still live in when their father dies, because she wants the money for her grandchildren. Mark tells her to go to hell. David stays where he is in Ireland and never sees any of the family, and Peter has his own life in Saudi away from the other three.
My dad’s sister’s two girls grew up quite close to each other and to me, but eventually one moved to South Africa, returning many years later to live about an hour’s drive from me, and one lives in Poole, Dorset. I see them occasionally at family weddings and funerals.
Sam’s sisters live in London and have always been jealous of each other’s homes and possessions. Each one has always tried to outdo the other with gadgets, foreign holidays and the size of each other’s houses. Sam and I moved away from London many years ago due to his job being based in Norfolk, and we hardly ever see them.
Sad eh? So you see, readers, that as far as I’m concerned there doesn’t seem to be any advantage in having brothers and sisters at all. Sometimes, having been aware of all the arguing and jealousy between my cousins and sisters-in-law, I’m glad I’m an only child! However, I did not want just one child myself, but Sam, coming from a family of 5 and having to share their parents’ attention, only wanted one child. We compromised and had 2! My sons have their own families now and are both close to each other, although fought quite frequently as children, often making me feel at the time as though living in the garden shed could be quite a good idea….
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