Mike's little brother Doug was excited for his homecoming this weekend. He was looking forward to playing football with him. Mike was looking forward to being driven around town by his freshly 16 year old brother. Both images appeal to me, and yet I am confused. I have never understood the concept of "siblings." Now, I realize that for those of you with siblings, this is absolutly ludacris. Siblings are, there is nothing to understand. But there is you see!
I have never had a sibling. I have never genuinely wanted one. I never asked for one and anytime anyone ever made a joke about me maybe having one, I never found it funny. I have always believed siblings to be horrible things. My parents made a concious decision to free me from the pain of having them. There was never a time when I was going to have a sibling. Elise was, from the very beginning, an only child. This desicion was made by two individuals that have such heinously fractured relationships with their own siblings (two each) that they could not even think of inflicting that life on their only beloved child.
My belief that multiple children is a crime against humanity was further confirmed by television. On television the only siblings that get along are those that hated each other as children. Sure, they came to love one and other, but it was only after years of torment and often the loss of a parent. Who wants the commitment? Also, that was only on sitcoms. Soap opera siblings are even worse. It was on soap operas that I learned the word fratracide.
When I finally left the cocoon of home and ventured into school I was surrounded by examples from stories of my parent's childhoods. Brothers and sisters engadged in war for their parents affections. Brothers and sister constantly trying to beat each other at one meaningless accomplishment after another. Brothers and sisters desperatly trying to create identities which are unique of one another. These were never problems I had to contend with and I thank my parents and my God daily for not cursing me as such.
Still, I am told that through all this hate, after all the malaice and evil are done there is actually some level of affection. I ask the afflicted among you to think of everything inflicted upon you by a sibling. Now tell me, would you have tolerated that kind of treatment from a stranger, or even a friend? I have seen some innerfamily squables that if played out on the street between acquaintances would have resulted in litigation, but since the battles occured between sisters within the confines of their own shared bedroom, no convictions were ever made.
I had a dream once that my father was talking to another girl the way he talks to me. It was one of the worst, most disturbing nightmares I have ever had. My parents are just that, mine alone. Everyone should be able to say that. Friends with siblings tell me that sharing is good. I fail to understand this principle as well. We are all brainwashed into believing that sharing is the best option but it's just not true. When you share, everyone gets less. It is far better that everyone has their own. When this is not possible it is better that one has and another does not instead of both only having for a short time. Where is the satisfaction in that? I don't think I need to explain the difference between a privatly owned beach house and a time share. Sharing sucks and should be avoided at all costs. Especially forced sharing. If you're extra nice and still want to share even though you are screwing your self a little, go for it, but don't force your poor kids to share because you decided to have multiple children.
That being said I understand that there is some sort of comfort that comes from siblings. I don't believe those with living genetic others can ever really feel the solitude that I often feel. Children of large families will never be so alone as I will be when my parents are gone. I am the only one to tell my story. I share my childhood with no one. I do sometimes envy siblings that. I envy the built-in comrade. Against my parents I was always outnumbered. When I am gone there will be no one left who remembers the things that I know. I think I could have liked having an older brother.
Still, I am glad for my parents decision. I think they made the right one. Any older brother would have hated my father. He would have worked a son far too hard. The same can be said of a younger brother, although I think I would have learned to hate a younger brother myself. At least an older brother might have tried to take-care of me. A younger brother would have been another hassle for me to handle. A younger sister would have been even more annoying. As for an older sister, I would have truely hated her. I would have been stuck in her shadow. In my life I have had the privilge and freedom of finding myself in a space free of those who share my genetic make-up. I have had no one to emulate, no preconcieved mold to fit myself into. No measuing stick with which to determine my personal worth or success.
Perhaps I would have been happier as a sibling, but I doubt it. I cannot say for sure because I will never grasp the true nature of the sibling relationship. To understand something is to stand under it. I will never stand under it and so I will never be crushed by it. The way my life has gone so far however, a sibling would only have been a hinderance. I am glad to be free of such stresses, even if it means I must watch 2am horror movies by myself. I have no problem with that as I am all the company I need.