Slim stretch

Slim stretch

Sunday, January 31, 2010

DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

My sister, me, my brother.

Called to my daughter’s parent teacher conference in her elementary school , the teacher took out my son’s folder and began to compare her work to his. “Put that away” I told her, “We’re here to talk about my daughter”.

My sister was a bit of a rebel in college. My first year at OCU, I was called to the Dean’s office for a conference. As soon as I sat down the Dean pulled out my folder and inside the front cover in big black letters it read “Elenore’s sister!”

Forget it when my sister and I were compared to our brother. Let me just say that we have always called him Saint Jim and neither of us can hold a candle to his reputation.

My siblings and I seem connected at times by ESP. Other times I have to wonder if we were all three raised by the same parents. Setting all differences aside, we share compassion and love and that is what matters.

We also each share having married the perfect mate because none of the three of us would be worth a hoot without our practical, loving spouses who anchor us and keep us humble. Ron defines me best by saying I was running amok until he found me.

I have heard that we are more influenced in our growing up by our siblings than by our parents. Also our sibling placement plays a large role in how we turn out. Were you only, oldest, middle or youngest? Did your siblings affect you in a positive or negative way? If you were an only child, who inspired you?

22 comments:

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

This is a very interesting issue Annie, I had an elder brother who was very academic me on the other hand was more inclined to be musical having had piano lessons from the age of 4 yrs and passed many examinations. When I had my three children the eldest (a son) hated games when the next son came along, he outshone at football and their games teacher could not believe they were brothers, my youngest son went on to be a professional footballer until injury made him hang up his football boots.
Teachers do tend to regard siblings as being alike, but my two sons are poles apart.

Thanks for this thought provoking
topic.

Yvonne.

Olive Morgan said...

My husband and I were both number five in a family of seven and it definitely makes a difference.

When it came to my turn to want to go to Colege/University, my older siblings were still there (or in nursing training) and my parents had to tell me that there was no money to cover me if I took the place I was offered. So I went into the Civil Service instead.

My husband was the first to pass the scolarship exam to go to secondary school and his father was very angry - because of the extra expense it would entail. He became head boy but had to leave then and work in a factory until he was able to pay for himself to go to Pharmaceutical College.

I remember, at Secondary School, that I suffered a lot of teasing because one of the teachers said to an older sister one day, 'I've got one of your sisters in my form. She's rather dreamy, isn't she?'

My youngest sister, the seventh child, had to suffer when, as a 5 year old, that same sister did her teacher-training at her school and embarrassed her by picking on her to answer questions! It hurts her to this day!

LL Cool Joe said...

My adopted brother is 4 years older than me and we are like chalk and cheese. I don't think he was a big influence on me, unless it was to be the opposite of him.

I started dating my partner at 17 and I think they've been a bigger influence on who I am now that anyone else.

Quilldancer said...

My mother died when I was three and I was raised by my maternal grandmother. All through my growing years as I was sent off to the first day of school, my grandmother would say, "And don't tell anybody who your brother is!"

I was born an only child -- the only child my parents had together. Both my mother and father had children before me. Among my mother's children, I am youngest. Among my father's children I am the middle child; however, I am the eldest child of my father's last family. I also lived with my sister and her husband during my teens and I was the eldest child in that family.

Therefore, I have lived the roles of an only child, a middle child, the eldest child and the youngest child. That means I have all the syndromes -- which probably means I am one of the most wel-balanced (and modest) people on earth. ;)

Aren't you glad you asked?

Kay Dennison said...

I was the oldest. My parents demanded (and got mostly because the alternative wasn't pretty) excellence. My sister was the perfect one but in high school she was compared to me because while her grades were perfect, she wasn't at all intellectual. She used to work in the guidance office and yelled at me because my IQ was higher than hers but my grades weren't quite as high (she peeked in the files). I hate math.

Our brother who was born when we were teens was/is probably the smartest of all of us, didn't give a damn and blithely ignored everyone.

None of it really mattered in the grand scheme. My sister is gone and my brother and I are doing okay.

I laugh at my kids because both claim the other is my favorite so I guess I spoiled both equally.

Riot Kitty said...

I was the oldest of two (two and a half years apart) for a long time. Then my dad met someone who had a 1-year-old and we all adopted him, and then they had my little sister a few years later. So it's been fun having more of us!

Ily said...

Great questions, Annie! I am the baby of the family. My brother was (and still is) THE SAINT. That left me with the role of the heathen...until a few years ago. :)

Granny Annie said...

Yvonne -- Your family is quite the variety pack!

Olive -- Both of you the fifth of seven. That has to be an unusual pairing. I wonder if you both were more like middle children than youngest. You sound as "giving" as middle children usually are.

Joe -- I believe your partner probably did have the biggest impact on your direction in life. I was 52 when I met Ron, but I might as well have been 17 since I needed a lot of adult supervision.

Quilldancer -- I'm confused on the instruction "Don't tell anyone who your brother is." Being privy to all the syndromes I would agree that you could be the most well-balanced OR the most insane! LOL

Kay -- If you have a son and a daughter you probably do what I do and that is tell them "You are my favorite girl and you are my favorite boy."

Riot Kitty -- Wouldn't you know you would enjoy every aspect of family.

Ily -- Did you lose the role of "heathen" because you reformed or because your brother became one?

Dani said...

I was the baby in the family with two older brothers. I'm not sure if my siblings affected me in a negative or a positive way. Most of the time it was just trying to find our own place in life after our parents divorced. That affected us more than anything else ever did.

dana said...

I was the youngest of three BY TEN YEARS, so my older brother was my PROTECTOR, the older sister was the poster child for PERFECTION and the OLDEST sister was the poster child for DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU.

Confused? I've taken turns being the mixture of all of them. Sometimes I'm the great PROTECTOR, sometimes I am PERFECTION and sometimes I've been the "OMG WHAT DID YOU DO"!

Mary said...

Annie,

I was at Jordan's school the second week in January and his teacher (who had Brandon for grades 6 and 7) said that Jordan was not like his brother. I told him they were individuals and of course nothing alike. Why do people think that siblings should be compared to one another? It makes me crazy. Love the photo. It would look lovely on a Memory Stone.

In reference to your question in my comments. I tried ebay and sold there for some time. Their fees have become exhorbitant. I wasn't making anything by the time I paid the fees. We do have garage sales and I have sold at fleamarkets, but most of them around here have closed down.

Yes, I take Pay Pal. Money Orders are fine as long as it's been prearranged. Just no personal checks.

Wishing you a great day.
Blessings,
Mary

Granny Annie said...

Dani -- Did your brothers take any kind of a protective attitude toward you after your parents divorced?

Dana -- Basically you were an only child because six years difference between siblings is supposed to be another family.

Mary -- Yes and it is worse when our educators take that train of thought acting like all siblings should be the same.

Dani said...

My oldest brother is still to this day very protective of me. Funny how sometimes the kids will "step up" to take a parents place.

The Zombieslayer said...

I was middle, and as much as I make fun of astrology, sibling placement actually had credibility to it. I'm a strong believer in sibling placement.

I was the bad one and hated being compared to my older brother as I think I was more like Peter Rabbit.

cube said...

I have no idea what birth order has to do with anything beyond having parents who are young enough to have the energy to make sure the child behaves, does homework, etc. I was spanked all the time, not so with my younger siblings.

I'm the oldest of four but by a wide margin. My next sibling is a sister 9 years younger, the next a sister 12 yrs. younger, and a brother, 15 years younger.

We were raisedy by the same parents, but while I was
a big reader and academically oriented, my siblings taper off according to their age to the point that my brother rarely ever reads.

I'm the only one in my family who has a college degree. My next sister quit after two semesters, and the last two didn't have any desire to go to college.

Shionge said...

Nice photo there Annie :D How are you?? Sorry it has been a long absence ya.

I am in the middle with one elder Brother nad one younger Brother :D

Dorothy said...

Wow, that was such an important thought regarding how my siblings have each influenced my life, I'm going to think about that and write a post as I believe your right they have had a great influence on my life.

Great post.

Dorothy from grammology
grammology.com

Rose Belle said...

You remind me so much of my ex-coworker and is also my life coach. She's 65 and has three children. Just like you, she has two daughters and a son. One daughter was a true rebel..always got into troubles in school. The second daughter was prim and proper. Her son was an angel just like your brother.

I'm the oldest of my siblings. A lot of parental responsibilities were placed on me since both of my parents worked. They're retired now. I felt then and I still feel now that I am my siblings second mom. Back then, I checked the younger ones' homework, made sure they did well in school, made sure they came home right after school, and so forth. People would comment how maternal I was probably as early as when I was in eighth grade. I think being the eldest molds me to be who I am today and who've I become.

Lucy Stern said...

Annie, I am the oldest of four siblings... Two sisters and the youngest was my brother... Mom had four of use in 5 1/2 years... We were a close family and we still are to this day... I don't know what I would do without my sisters and brother.

Bonnie said...

I was I guess you'd call a middle child. I was the middle girl. Mom and Dad had 6 kids, 3 of each. I'm sure in some way my siblings had an effect on how I turned out, but so did Mom and Dad. I was lucky enough not to ever get compare to any of my brothers or sisters.

Beverly said...

I'm an only. Had all my mother's babies lived, I would have been the middle. The first one was a son, stillborn. The other one was a little girl who was born prematurely when I was 10, and my mother was an old 39. I thought my mother was way too old to be having a baby.

Being an only is a bit lonely, although there were quite a few kids in the neighborhood. I was very shy, and not a leader, although I believe the capabilities were there.

I didn't have anyone I had to keep up with scholastically or athletically, or any other way. I did achieve, only from the competition among classmates.

Being an only, I really wanted to marry because I did not want to grow old alone. Even though I'm widowed, I have two great children to keep me from that "growing old alone" feeling.

Granny Annie said...

Dani -- With our parents gone, our older brother has done an excellent job as Patriarch of the family and he keeps an eye on is goofy sisters.

Z -- There is not a doubt in my mind that middle kids turn out the best. I was a spoiled youngest and my brother was a spoiled oldest but my poor sis took on the world.

Cube -- I have always heard that like sibling placements should not marry and I proved that in my first marriage (unhappy) by marrying a youngest like myself. My current marriage (happy happy) is between an oldest and a youngest

Shionge -- Glad to hear from you. I am not surprised that you are a well adjusted middle child.

Dorothy -- Can't wait for you post.

RoseBelle -- I see so much of what you described with my California grandkids. The oldest is very protective of is younger siblings and a good caregiver for them.

Lucy -- What a job that must have been to set an example for three younger siblings.

Bonnie -- I know my older sister (middle child) was never compared to me but I was constantly compared to her. I always have envied her greatly.

Beverly -- My dad, my Sil were only children and there are not any two people I admire more. I believe there is a lot of stability that goes on for only kids.