Siblings are treasures for a lifetime

3 mins read


In a recent car ride with two siblings who are in their seventies, I was serenaded with a rendition of their childhood summer camp song. 

They had been driving along talking about their summers, and camp, and the cold swims that were required at 8 each morning, when they broke into the Sherwood Forest song. 

Now these two had not seen the camp since the 1950s, and yet here they were in 2019, singing the entire song – all four stanzas. I thought it would never end, and yet I was excited for them, because I consider this one of the greatest advantages of having a sibling; another human being who spent their early years growing up with you.

Here they were, 60 years later, bringing back their joint childhood memories.

It seems like most of us move away from our siblings when we turn 18 and begin our own lives. Then spouses, children, and careers take priority and siblings are only seen on holidays or maybe summer vacations.

These two siblings had not lived near one another since the mid-1960s, and yet now, they call each other regularly and try to visit each other several times a year.

For me, my six surviving siblings are people who can bring back a childhood memory in a second. References to songs, games and movies are easy to recall when the seven of us get together, which seems more frequent now that all our children are grown.

Even in my neighborhood, there are multiples sets of siblings who retired near one another. Brothers who played baseball in their youth are now out on the golf course. Sisters now play tennis and compare stories about their grandchildren.

I distinctly recall as a child how much I wanted to get away from my siblings. But now that one of them is gone, our times together seem more valuable. 

Besides, we still love to humiliate each other in front of other people. The child remains in each of us. 

Now I tell my kids who are in their 40s and busy with their owns lives, that some day they too will reconnect and recall memories of their time together.

As the two Sherwood Forest campers finally came to the end of their song, they burst out laughing. It was then that I heard the sound of the children they once were together. Sixty years fell away in a heartbeat.

Maybe you have not talked to a sibling in a while. But the July 4 holiday is coming up, and if you cannot get together, you might want to call and at least reminisce. 

Besides, you may just find yourself laughing like a kid again.

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