National Siblings Day: A Letter to My Children to Enjoy Their Siblings

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Dear Aidan & Neely,

It’s National Siblings Day today, and my wish for you both is that you can push pause on the constant acrimony for a moment and appreciate one another. I know, in your current stage of life, this probably seems impossible. You’re 13 and 10, and I’m fairly certain both of you feel like the other one’s sole purpose on this earth is to irritate you. Contrary to what you may think, one of the main reasons your father and I wanted to have both of you is for you.

Turning to one another

Because of your dad’s job, we move frequently. Knowing up front that would always be a reality for us, it was my greatest wish that you would never feel lonely. When we move on to the next state, town, house, although I want you to open your precious hearts to a new chapter and new friends, always remember that you can turn to one another for a buddy, for a playmate, for support. So far, you’ve done me proud. When you’ve been the new kids on the block, I’ve found you building box forts in the basement, having imaginary adventures as explorers in the backyard, playing games, and riding bikes together. I may not love why it’s necessary, but I adore seeing you being a friend to one another.

You only have five more years living under the same roof.

The time will pass in a blink, a moment I’ll wish I can snatch back. I may even yearn to hear your bickering over unloading the dishwasher or whose turn it is to feed the dog just one more time. My desire for you is to bond with one another and learn to take care of each another while you still can.

I hope you’ll remain friends for life.

It is certainly bittersweet, but in the last few years, I have witnessed firsthand the damage that can be done in relationships between siblings who never learned to appreciate one another once their parents are no longer around to force civility. I’ve also had the pleasure of observing siblings who bond together in tragedy, whose love for one another overcomes hardship. I know from a handful of occasions with my own brother that it isn’t always easy to swallow your pride, say how you’re feeling, or apologize. Learn to do it anyway.

Enjoy your sibling.

It goes without saying, my greatest wish is for you to follow the second example. Focus on what you have in common. Enjoy your childhood years together. And always, always take care of each other.

With all the love my heart holds,

Mom