Friday, July 8, 2011

Siblings are a gift.

After my Domestic Enemies of the Large Family post appeared on Rants From Mommyland Tuesday morning, I received a very sweet e-mail from a reader who wanted to know some reasons for wanting such a large family. She wrote, "You said, 'Siblings are a gift.' I don't have the best relationship with my brother, neither does my husband, nor do many of my friends. So, I have always wanted one child, can you explain more why siblings are a blessing?" -C., Kansas City

I'll be honest... I haven't replied to her yet because lately, my children have been behaving much like a mix of the cast from Jackass AND Jersey Shore. (photo credit:


Maybe it's this blasted southern summer heat. Maybe it's the upcoming full moon. Maybe they're all teething. Maybe it's the fact that even though I'm in my second trimester, my energy still hasn't returned, so I've been spending much of the day laying on the couch, ignoring The Storm to the best of my ability. Whatever the reason, they've done nothing but fuss, fight and tattle on one another for nearly two weeks straight.

And I'm not talking about little sissy type fighting either. With The Storm, it's nothing less than knock down-drag out-don't stop until somebody has a black eye- type of fighting. Mike Tyson would be impressed with some of their moves, as well as their ability to incorporate a cheap-shot-bite from the bottom of the pile.

As if the all out brawls weren't enough, the tattling is seriously about to push me over the edge...

Storm Member (pick any member, THEY ALL do it): "MOOOOOMMMMMMAAAAAA!!! He/She's looking at me... touching me...breathing too loud... touching my stuff... changing the channel and I was watching a show!... ate the last granola bar... keeps copying everything I say... HIT ME... said she's the BOSS!"

Me (eyes rolling): "He/She CAN look at you... go outside and play and he can't touch you... Sorry, he has to breathe... Stop touching each other's stuff. And besides, it's not YOUR stuff, it's MINE. I paid for it all... Turn the tv OFF!... We can buy more at the store, just find another snack!... Ignore her... Good. Go tell him to hit you again.... Who cares if she said that! I'm the ONLY BOSS, and that's all that matters."

All. Day. Long.

That last one is usually followed by, "But... You're not the boss of God!"


And, since we're all home this summer, the house has stayed in a permanent state of disarray. Oh, who am I kidding... It's always that way. But lately, it's gotten worse. Which I didn't think possible.

Trying to investigate the crime scene to learn who is the guilty party for the messy living room/fight/spilled apple juice that no one bothered to tell me about until it was as sticky as super glue/etc is about as effective as questioning Casey Anthony...

Me: "Who spilled this entire box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and left it here for Flash Flood to stomp on and throw like confetti??"

The Storm: "Not ME! I think Thunder did it!".... "Na-ah! I did NOT! Lightning did it!".... "NOT ME!!"

Four minutes after sweeping up a wasted box of cereal....

Hail: "MOOOOMMMMMAAAA! Thunder punched me in the tummy!"

Thunder: "Well, well, well.... HE TORE UP MY LEGO SHIP!! And I had been working on it all morning! And he did it on PURPOSE!!"

Me: "Hail, did you tear up the ship he worked so hard on??"

Hail: "Ummm, no. I did not. I was just pwaying in my room for a minute. And den, ummm... well, den I accidentawee dropped my toy on dat ship... and, ummm... NO! Wait! I wasn't even in our room. Nope. I was in here. It was Lightning! He did it!"

Round and round we go.

Thunder: "MOOOOMMMMMAAAAA!! Lightning choked my neck!!"

Lightning: "Na-ah. I was just falling down and had to grab on to sumpin'. It was an accident."

Me: Riiiiiiigggghhhhtttt.

Here's the deal... Even with all the messes, screaming, fussing, fighting and whining, I wouldn't trade a one of those lil' boogers for all the riches in the world.

I grew up the middle of five children. I have two older brothers and two younger sisters. I loved almost every second of my childhood. I don't believe I suffered for a moment with Middle Child Syndrome. My parents did a wonderful job of making sure I never felt like a middle child.
My dear friend, Dana, once said to me, "Middle children are the best type of friends to have, because they know how to get along with everybody." I love that saying.

Yes, there were times we all had to compromise our own wants, to be there for one of our other siblings. In the long run, I believe that is what has helped me to adjust to LIFE as an adult.

Learning how to listen, share, love, stand-up for yourself and for one another, believe in yourself because you know that even if you make a total ass of yourself, there are still six other people at home who will love you and back you up, no matter what. Learning how to work as a team, learning how to keep your mouth shut when it's not the right time for discussion, and learning how to fight fair are also important things I attribute to growing up with my siblings.

Along with these life lessons, I learned how to entertain myself, how to enjoy and appreciate the rare quiet moments, and also how to laugh at myself. (Which, let's face it, not nearly enough people on this planet know how to do.)

As I've gotten older, and witnessed other families and how they function, I've realized how truly precious my family and siblings are to me. And that we're definitely in the minority of happy, loving families, who are close and love being together as often as possible.

My Mother gets asked often, "What did you do, to make them all get along so well?" I don't think she gives herself enough credit. She and my Daddy were wonderful role models when it came to issues like conflict resolution, being a good listener, discipline, and most importantly how to love the LORD by loving one another.

Life lessons and great memories were reasons enough for me to want to mimic my family by having a large family. We now sit around at our get-togethers and laugh until we cry, discussing some of our crazy times as children. We also consult one another for parenting and marital advice. My siblings are truly some of my best friends, my biggest fans, and I'm proud to say, I'm theirs.

Another reason for wanting my children to experience life with siblings is so that when Bert and I pass away (when we're old and gray, long before any of them, Lord willing) they will have each other to help with the grieving process, to tell stories and laugh about us, while sharing fun memories... Our legacy.

C. from Kansas City, I hope that helps more than it hurt! :)

Love, Big Momma

PS. To those who prefer one child, or who couldn't have more than one... please don't take this post as a knock to you. To each his own. I am simply answering a question asked to me, and thought I would go ahead and share with any others who may wonder the same things. That is all. So, no hate-mail please.


Voice of Reason said...

Oh yeah sure, we got along GREAT as kids (rolls eyes).

Holly-- The Storm Chaser said...

Voice of Reason-- I never said that. I said we learned how to FIGHT fair.

Taybron said...

Im an only child and married into a brood of five. Growing up, I've always wished to have siblings, for all the obvious reasons. Now that I see my husband and his two older+two younger siblings and how close they are, being an only child is one of my biggest regrets from childhood. I decided to have at least two because, I agree, siblings are a blessing. And though I am extremely close to my sib in laws, there's nothing like the real thing...

Lindy said...

Love big fams, especially your's! Siblings are definitely a blessing, sometimes an obvious one and sometimes not! I never knew all the torture my brothers put me through would actually help me in the long run. Ha!

C from Kanas City said...

That was great! Thanks for the answer, and thanks to Taybron for the answer too!

Ashlee said...

Well said Holly! I was blessed enough to have a large number of sibilings too...I had 5 brothers and 1 sister; some of them step, half and whole (not that that means anything in our family)! We had the best times when ALL of us were together. We played and FOUGHT a ton. I love that my husband and I are now able to have 2 boys, and a little girl on the way, to share life with! Siblings are a wonderful blessing, and I pray that my kiddos are the best of friends when they grow up, just like I am with my brothers and sisters!

mallory said...

how funny! I knew i liked you...I am the middle of 5 too! 2 older sisters, 2 younger sisters. We are all great best friends! I had a great childhood...everyone wanted to hang out at our house because it was always fun! big families are great, not always easy, never get to have anything and everything you want, but you learn so much when you grow up sharing everything!

tarheelmom said...

well said, holly! if only i were younger (and richer), my husband and i would want more youngins! but alas, 4 is our magic number! i only have 1 brother, my hubs has only 1 brother and they mean the world to us! having someone to lean on in this world after the parents are gone is one of the main reasons we wanted more than one. i know this doesn't apply to probably anyone but my friend, but she is an unmarried only child of only children and she sometimes admits freely that it is a very lonely way to live. no aunts, no uncles, no cousins, no kids of her own.
you can learn a lot of social and life lessons from brothers and sisters! one of my hopes for the future is that my kids always get along and support each other no matter what!
love your post once again!

L Rukes said...

You are indeed a lucky girl - in so many ways!! Love the Rant. Hope the pregnancy is going well!

Anonymous said...

fyi: You don't ask the middle child if he/she suffered from "middle child syndrome." ;)

Anonymous said...

I love that answer. I was the oldest child at home, but when I visited my Dad's house, I was the youngest child, but I never got the "middle child syndrome". Although I have two kids now, we're trying to have more.

My brothers and I didn't always get along, but now we do, and I love it. I love being able to call them and talk to them about their lives, cheer them on and still argue with them like we did when we were kids.

BTW: This is my first comment, found your blog through the Domestic Enemies post on Rants from Mommyland, and read through most of it. Your family is so awesome, so I just wanted to say: HI!! :)

ilikebeerandbabies said...

I grew up in a family of four, though I was an accident and born much later. I always felt like and only child and SOOO wanted what I saw my three older brothers had in each other. Your kids will love the crap out of you when they get older and have built-in partners in crime. And, Christmas will kick butt at your house when everyone is grown up!

Laura Greene said...

Those little white bums are just about the cutest thing ever!