If parents are the fixed stars in the child’s universe, the vaguely understood, distant but constant celestial spheres, siblings are the dazzling, sometimes scorching comets whizzing nearby.—Alison Gopnik
Three years separate each of my boys, almost exactly in the case of the last two. I rather like that gap; it’s long enough that each developed their own personality and sense of personhood, but close enough they each had someone with whom they could play. The middle one is the glue that holds the other two together, even now. I don’t think any of them would have handled being an only child well. The youngest is getting a bit of a taste of that now that his brothers are grown, but when they were small it was always the three of them, tearing through the house, or out in the yard, or up and down store aisles.
I’m not sure how kids without siblings survive childhood. My brother and I were never overly close, but we still need each other. Without siblings, there’s no one to share your thoughts in the quiet moments of the night, no one to plot your next great triumph, and no one to blame when that triumph turns into disaster. Even half-siblings that one doesn’t get to see every day is better than growing up alone, I think.
So here’s to siblings, their wonderfulness, their joy, and even the times they’re a pain in the ass. Thank you for making our lives interesting.