(obligatory my life has been busy etc etc etc post here)
Now that we have that out of the way, I’ve been thinking on something recently.
Some incredibly happy news in my family has caused me to reflect back on my childhood a bit and think about my older “sisters”.
They shaped my life and the way I view and treat my siblings more than they will ever relaize.
My sisters had a rocky (at best) relationship with our dad. Now, admitedly, I do not know what their childhood was like and they sure do not know what mine was like so I will say that before we go further.
My sisters were a fairly big precense in my life during my very early years. I was a little baby born right when they were at the tween age of being obsessed with babies. My mom, the KINDEST heart in the universe, wanted so badly for us to be raised as siblings. She did not see “halves” she loves everyone no matter what.
However, my newness did not last forever. For reasons I don’t know (because I was 0-4 during this time) they drifted apart from us and my dad. I heard later that it was because my dad was demanding/mean/whatever else. At the time, he was a fairly good dad. He had his moments, FOR SURE, but overall ok.
Then, my sister got pregnant at 16. No parent in their right mind is going to be like ” YAY! A BABY! WOOOO!” to their 16 year old child so I can’t fault him for not doing cartwheels about this. At 7, I didn’t know what being an aunt was like. It terrified me to be honest but I was excited for a baby!
I did get to see my niece. About the same about of time I got to see my sister, once a year. For about 2 years or so. Then I didn’t see her until my next niece was born. Then not again until 5 or more years later when my oldest sister was in an accident and suddenly realized she wanted a relationship with ALL of her siblings.
The next time after that? 2 years ago. I think I have seen my nieces a total of 5 or 6 times in their entire life.
I know that as a parent, time is not your own. I watched my mom always scramble to keep things together, get people places in time, you name it. However I know that is not strictly the case with my sisters. I was punished and kept from my sisters and my nieces for a very long time because of their relationship with my dad.
So, what this post comes down to is this: I love my siblings. Kari, Kimmy, Tommy and Juli (and now Zack and Aaron) are the best things that happened in my life. I was lost and alone and they gave me guidance and a purpose without even knowing it. My sisters and their lack of interest in me left a cut in my life that I didn’t know how to heal so I filled it with loving my full biological siblings as much as I could. (Sometimes too much) I don’t ever want there to be a shadow of a doubt how much I love them and that I wouldn’t drop everything to help them. I never EVER want them to feel the hurt and abandonment I went through as a kid. Ultimately, my sisters looked out for themsleves and would occasionally grace me with a phone call or a gift. No one should have to live that life. To have that foundation ripped out from under you is one of the worst feelings in the world.
What my whole post is about is this: I never want my siblings to feel that they need to chose a relationship with my dad or a relationship with me. This is not going to be easy for me and something that I will probably always work on but I never want there to be split birthday parties or something like that. I couldn’t handle knowing my feelings towards my dad kept me out of my future nieces and nephews lives. I am a bigger person than previous examples set for me. I will not let this beat me.
This in no way means I am ready for a father/daughter relationship with my dad though. I don’t believe I ever will be. What I will be though, is civil. Not in a condesending way. Not in a “I’m better than you” way. A genuine “this life means a lot to everyone in this family and is more important than past irresponsibilites” way. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting. Something I need to remember in my everyday life.
I’ve spent my life trying to NOT follow in the footsteps of my older sisters and I am not going to start now.
Anyways, I hope wherever you are in the world, you are having a great day.
Lots of love, Me
(except for the fact that they will NOT be invited to my wedding. How does that feel sis?! Couldn’t find room for 3 extra people?! Bull. Sorry. Still a sore topic.)