No two relationships are the same, and this is true of relationships between siblings too. You and your sister may have been the best of friends for the last few decades, or you might still fight like cats and dogs. The majority of your memories of your little brother might be perfectly positive — or they might be about him terrorizing you and your friends at slumber parties. Like all relationships, the one you share with your brothers and sisters is complicated, emotionally fraught, and full of the highest highs and lowest lows.
Regardless of the specifics of the sibling relationships in your family, National Sibling Day is Apr. 10, and whether you’re opting in to this holiday or simply letting it pass, we hope that it gets you thinking about your brothers and sisters and all the reasons you have to appreciate them. Let’s start with this list of 10 reasons, shall we?
1. Your siblings are the only people in the world who understand what it was like to grow up in your family. With your brothers and sisters, there’s absolutely no explanation necessary for your quirky holiday traditions, that weird song your mom hums when she’s making breakfast in the morning, or the way your grandfather interrogates you every single time you visit. For better or for worse, your siblings can relate to your upbringing, which makes all of the reminiscing — and, at times, the necessary moral support — that much easier. It’s pretty special to have people in your life with whom so much can be unspoken.
2. Siblings are the ultimate keepers and interpreters of your inside jokes. Sure, you have inside jokes with your friends, but can they even come close to rivaling the ones you came up with at the dinner table or on the family camping trip with your siblings when you were younger? We’re gonna go ahead and guess that the answer to that question is a big, fat no. If nothing else, it’s pretty impressive that you’ve been able to keep up with those jokes for a few decades!
3. Siblings will pretty much always see each other as kids. People outside of your family will more easily notice when you’re doing that thing we call “maturing” and even your closest friends might feel obligated to point out the awkward physical signs of that process. Your siblings? Not so much. There’s this crazy thing that happens among brothers and sisters where time sort of stops, and while this phenomenon means that your siblings might never stop treating you like the baby, it also means that they’ll never make you feel like you’re turning into a boring adult, either.
4. There’s not much you can say to your siblings that they can’t forgive. There might be slammed doors and a few hours of the silent treatment, but generally speaking, your siblings know they’re stuck with you for life, so you can pretty much count on all conflicts being resolved eventually (because if all else fails, your parents might even get involved — yeesh!). For the record, we’re in no way advocating that you should be reckless with your siblings’ feelings. Consider this a gentle reminder that your relationships with your brothers and sisters are anything but disposable. You know as well as we do that there’s going to be some serious payback for hurt feelings.
5. Your siblings share most of your favorite childhood memories. If you ever feel like reminiscing about that amazing vacation to Disney World or that hilarious teacher who just happened to land every member of your family in her class, you have a built-in sounding board with your brothers and sisters. Chances are, you won’t even need to explain the backstory before you start your trip down Memory Lane.
6. Siblings are your built-in support system for all kinds of family (and other) chaos. Life is complicated, and while friends and partners are surely dependable, there are challenging moments that call for the support of a sibling who’s been with you (literally) every step of the way and therefore understands how you’ve learned to cope with things. You’ll be especially grateful for your brothers and sisters in moments of family-specific crisis and tragedy. Even as adults, you’ll continue to share these experiences in a unique way.
7. Your siblings came into your life at the perfect time. As author Jeffrey Kluger so perfectly puts it, “Your parents leave you too soon and your kids and spouse come along late, but your siblings know you when you are in your most inchoate form.” The sibling relationship is special because it forms during some of the most important and impressionable years of your existence, long before you’ve even met the people you choose to build an adult life with — and it continues even after your parents are gone.
8. Your siblings already know what you look like when you roll out of bed. Your siblings were the first ones to be familiar with your tangled hair and blotchy, makeup-free face. That’s pretty significant, no?
9. You can pretty much count on your siblings answering the phone at any hour of the day or night. Even if you and your sibling have been somewhat out of touch recently, you know that they’ll be the first to come to your rescue if you ever find yourself in trouble — or even just a little sad. There’s a lot of value in your shared history, and your brothers and sisters will be hard-pressed to ignore your distressed calls or texts.
10. Your siblings probably know you better than almost anyone else. With enough years together, your BFFs and S.O. might be able to give your brothers and sisters a run for their money here, but your siblings were probably the first people to know you better than you know yourself. Be sure to remember this next time they’re driving you crazy.
What is your favorite thing about your siblings? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)