An Ode to Siblings

National siblings day is April 10, and usually I don’t pay it much attention. However, with everything going on in the world and in my life at the moment, I have never been more thankful for my siblings. They know me better than I know myself, they know how I grew up, and they can commiserate with me about my parents quirks and family stories. They know what makes me laugh and what makes me mad (and exploit both).

It is so funny to think how our relationships with our siblings can change over the years – from elementary school squabbles, to teenage drama, to suddenly in university finding myself missing them, and wait, did they just become my best friends?

I asked several people in my life to share some of their favourite or most memorable stories with siblings. I would also love to hear your stories, feel free to add your memorable sibling story in the comments!

Spencer – One of my most memorable stories was from when we were in high school. My brother Ben loved scaring my sister and I. I was doing my makeup in my room, curling my eyelashes, when Ben jumped around the corner to scare me. I screamed, which he was expecting, but also pulled out a good chunk of the eyelashes I had been curling. My sister, who was also in the room, was trying to scold Ben in between laughing. Ahh memories…

Tori (twin sister) – One of my favourite memories with Spence was a beautiful summer day that we were driving up to our family’s cottage in Wasaga beach. We were cruising up country roads in the bright red Astro van blasting our Michelle Branch CD. The sun was shining, the windows were down, we were singing at the top of our lungs and I was on my way to one of my favourite places on earth with one of my favourite people on earth. Whenever I think back on that drive I always reminisce about how happy and free I felt. The best part too is that that feeling of happiness is now permanently associated with hearing any Michelle Branch song <3 .

Ben (my brother)– When I was tasked to write about my favourite story from my childhood with my sister, I had a lot of options. Whether it was waking both of my sisters up with a musical instrument like a vuvuzela blast, or an obnoxious strum of the guitar (which I do not know how to play), when my parents gave me the opportunity to wake my sisters up, I never disappointed. There was a variety of times that led me to complete a mad scramble to find a locked door in the house as one of my sisters attempted retaliation. However, I learned quickly that if one of my sisters was after me, the second was not far behind, probably because I annoyed her too. 

There is one “altercation” with my sister Spencer that stands out as one of the most memorable. The punishment was minimal, the revenge was sweet and it’s a story we’ll never forget.

During a busy elementary school morning as my mother attempted to get three kids to school, herself to work, and organize all the after school sports between my sisters and I, this was an above average stressful morning. My sister Spencer and I had been arguing over something which I’m sure was a crucial part of getting ready that morning. While sitting at the kitchen table, trying to enjoy my pancakes, omelettes, orange juice and milk, my sister decided to disrupt my peaceful morning. Do I remember what the argument was, no, but what followed was in my opinion, absolutely brilliant.

While sitting at the kitchen table, Spencer came in angry, about something ridiculous I’m sure, and interrupted my morning routine. Of course, anyone would be annoyed by this, and so began another sibling argument.

The argument continued until I was so angry with Spencer, that a few thoughts crossed my mind.

  1. Punch Spencer in arm, Pro: sends a strong message Con: Mom would be pissed and I would get in a lot of trouble
  2. Yell more and maybe call Spencer a name or two, Pro: I wouldn’t get in too much trouble Con: it was too predictable and not effective enough

And then I had a great idea, and to quote one of the best Christmas movies of all time, the Jim Carrey, How the Grinch Stole Christmas: “Then he got an idea. An awful idea. The Grinch had a wonderful, awful idea.”

  • Throw the glass of orange juice on Spencer, Pro: unexpected, forces Spencer to change, hilarious. Cons: I would probably get in some trouble but we had to go to school, I would need to get more orange juice.

Obviously seconds later the orange juice was air borne and covered Spencer’s shirt. Spencer screamed, Mom yelled, and I laughed.

My punishment for the OJ incident of ’05, involved me sitting on the stairs until we left for school, which was like 5 minutes, 10 max, and I had a smile on my face the entire time. The conclusion: 100% worth it.

Anyways, both my sisters are good people, and they’re ight.

Thanks Spencer for the “opportunity” to add to her blog.

Facetime chats during COVID. We clearly think we are pretty funny.

Nancy (my mother-in-law)– I grew up in a large family with 5 children all very close in age.  The thing I remember most about growing up is how we would always come to each other’s rescue when one of us was in trouble. One time (okay, not just one time) we were throwing stuff to each other in the living room. One of my brothers knocked over and broke a hand-painted lamp that my mother treasured. Two of us kept my mom busy while the others glued it together. 45 years later when we get together in my parents’ living room and we look at the same lamp, we still smile at each other. My mother never found out. When my children were growing up and they would smile at each other the same way, I knew they had done something, but I figure they were forming a life-long bond. Sometimes, secrets…. or omissions are good.

Karen (my momma) – I am eight years older than my youngest brother. Growing up, I was often his “go to” for help. I remember one night (he was about 4 years old at the time), my little brother had a nightmare and came to me a little freaked out. I was just heading to bed and told him he could hang out with me. It was then we noticed a spider in the corner of my room. I quickly grabbed a Kleenex and set about evicting the spider from my room. Thinking all was well, I told my little brother he could sleep with me to ward off the nightmares. I was fast asleep when I was suddenly awoken to screaming, punching and kicking. Completing disorientated, I didn’t know what was happening and began screaming too, I jumped out of bed screaming and running for my door. My brother, still yelling and screaming was right behind me. I opened my bedroom door to find my parents standing there in bewilderment – my Dad with a chair at the ready. When we all finally calmed down we were able to discover the cause. Apparently, I didn’t evict the spider. It had fallen down between my bed and the wall. The spider was happily making its way back to the ceiling (up the wall) as my little brother was drifting off to sleep. While his eyes fluttered, he saw the spider on the wall,  2 inches from his face. This spider started a ridiculous chain reaction…him screaming and kicking, me screaming because he was screaming, my parents bolting from their bedroom thinking we were being attacked, and my Dad grabbing a chair to strike the intruder. After we all calmed down, my little brother explained about the spider. We evicted the spider for real this time and after the adrenalin rush subsided, we all finally went to sleep.

Barb (my aunt) – One of my memories from childhood is camping with my family. One family that we camped with had children similar in age as me and my siblings. My older sisters and their counterparts would organize skits, songs and activities for the group of us. I remember spending, what seemed like hours, in the amphitheater singing “do re me” from the sound of music. The 8 of us would jump from bench to bench in a practiced performance as if we were the Von Trapp Family singers. 

Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. Please feel free to share a favourite memory with your siblings in the comments section. I would love to hear them! – Spencer

A lifestyle blog inspired by all of the things I share with my twin sister. Skincare and style finds, food ideas, health and advice.

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