My mother is an only child, adopted. My father, one of many; counting him, four still living.

I am the oldest of three. We could not have been the easiest children to love. We love each other and we love to antagonize each other.

As I weigh the option of bringing my brother south, I think about what my siblings mean to me.

My father always told us to love one another, because after your parents are gone, your sisters / brother will be the only people on earth who remember the song Mom made up at bedtime, the time your grandparents hosted Christmas or that time Dad did something foolish. (That time? Ok, all the times)

My mother was constantly frustrated by our fighting, our competitiveness. Her stance was that we should cherish each other, obviously not knowing what it was like to have siblings.

Growing up, my sister and I had the contemptuous relationship. At some point, my brother took over my role. It was no longer a case of the pretty one vs. the smart one. It turned into her successes vs his failures.

I always wanted the postcard family. Where us siblings share, bond, love. Where no one pushes the buttons that only those who’ve known you that long can push. Idealistic, yes.

The three of us are in better places than we once were. We no longer scream obscenities at each other or whip glass bottles at each other’s heads. Now we’re all adults and should be are able to get along. There are glimpses that give me hope. Moments where we laugh until we cry, playfully tease each other and hug like we don’t want to let go.

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