40 in 38

"Friends will come and go, but you will always have your brothers and sisters." If I had a dollar for every time that phrase was repeated by either of my parents, I'd be a wealthy woman. This was one of their more subtle ways of guilting us into liking one another. To stop beating each other up, to stop being mean to one another, to stop fighting! With kids all growing and changing and being and trying to figure out how to just live together and not get lost in the shuffle, there were bound to be scuffles...lots of them! But of course, we didn't really get what they were trying to say to us - no matter how many times they said it, friends were way cooler than stinky, annoying brothers, and sometimes it was just plain entertaining to come up with new ways to push my sisters' buttons!

I'm the oldest of this family of five children. No, there was rarely a quiet moment in this house of three girls and two boys - but don't we look perfectly angelic in our Sunday best circa 1985? Don't be fooled. I'm sure the car ride home from this church family photo shoot left one of us in tears and another being ordered to his or her bedroom as soon as we got home. But we did love each other. I'm sure of that now. And while I spent many a brooding moment holed up in my room fantasizing what it would be like to be an only child, I now appreciate what my parents warned, you will always have your brothers and sisters and I'm pretty darn thankful to have mine. 

Now that I have two kids of my own who have known their fair share of battles, I honestly don't know how my parents survived us. And sometimes when I'm at my wits end, guess what I tell them?

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