Sibling Rivalry, Part Three: All Grown Up

This is the last week of our sibling prompts. Today, think about your youngest sibling (or cousin). Don’t forget to apply the childhood and school years questions to today’s sibling, too!

Is your youngest sibling the baby of the family? If so, did they ever get away with anything due to their birth order? Did you and your older siblings play parent to your youngest brother or sister?

Sibs and Their Mom by Brian (CC BY 2.0)

Our topic for this week (to be applied to all your siblings’ narratives) is the relationship between adult siblings. As we grow up, finish school, and move out on our own, the dynamics between siblings continue to change (especially once kids start arriving). There are situations that adult siblings are forced to address, like aging parents or job loss, that make for colorful, if sad, additions to your family story.

Some questions to consider when thinking about your relationship with adult siblings:
  • Have you had to deal with the death of a parent? How did that affect your relationship with your sibling?
  • If your sibling is married, you were likely in their wedding party (or your sibling was in yours). What role did you play, and did you do anything special for their big day?
  • Do you and your sibling still live near each other? Do you get together for holidays or other special occasions?
  • What is the most significant thing your sibling has ever done to help you?

Zeb and Sarah in 2008

My sister and I are fortunate that both our parents are still living; in fact, their 46th wedding anniversary is coming up this spring. None of our three households (my parents, my sister, and I) are near each other, though. I’ve not lived closer than a six-hour drive from any of my immediate family since I left for graduate school in 2002, and understandably the distance has changed my relationship with my sister. From growing up sharing a room to now seeing each other maybe once a year, it’s hard to maintain the same closeness that we once had.

Share in the comments below some memories of your relationship with a brother or sister as an adult. Would you prefer the state of your relationship now or as children?

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