Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ties that Bind

What is it about family that stirs such fierce loyalty in us? We can have a lifetimes worth of bickering behind us, yet the moment one of our own calls on us- we come running.

We don't choose our family. It's a bit of a "take what you're given scenario", but those with even an inkling of wisdom realize it's in their best interest to make the best of what they are given because these are the your people; the people who are in your court and have your back.

I am fortunate to have five siblings and we are all relatively close in age. Even though I loved my brothers and sisters, sometimes I wasn't the best sister. I ripped hair clips out my younger sisters hair because she 'stole' my seat in front if the TV when I went to get a drink. I put soap on everybody in my family's toothbrush (minus my own) while they were all watching A Country Practice. I tricked my sister into eating mayonnaise by telling her it was yoghurt. I convinced my brother to let me dress him up as a girl, complete with hot pink lipstick that doubled as eyeshadow and blush, only to find it wouldn't come off so he had to wear it to school the next morning.

Despite all these things, my siblings continued to want to spend time with me. Had it been a friend, these may have been deal-breakers, but family have ties that bind us together. Our matching DNA plays a small role in this, along with the commonality in our upbringing, but it's what we experience and share that forms those unshakable bonds between family.

We see each other at our best and our worst. We spend holidays and create traditions together and share the memories for years after. We see each other when we are sick or first thing in the morning and don't run a mile. We play and laugh together and we sometimes even hurt one another and need to make things right again. It's almost impossible to be happy when one of your own is suffering, so we put aside our own concerns and desires and step up to fix things in anyway possible. When we are hurt by family, we are often quick to forgive, because they have proven themselves as loyal friends. We don't always get along, like each others choices, or even like each other at times.....but if anyone talks bad about me, I know who is going to jump to my defence.

I sometimes watch my boys and wonder why they bicker so often. They just grate each others nerves, but then they are best buddies seconds later. That ability to set aside annoyance and anger without a seconds thought and get back to being buddies shows me they already have that kind of relationship, those connections, those bonds.

We have ties that bind us - like it or not.


  1. Isn't it amazing how long the tether is for each family member! We are very blessed to come from Gospel-centred, loving families, who can put up with everything that gets thrown at them..It's a very special relationship

  2. Sometimes I wish I was born last, so I wouldn't be the sister you picked on... just kidding. I actually loved any attention you gave me, most of it was good attention. Do you remember when we would have our own markets and sell each other our old junk. I LOVED buying your old makeup, did you actually give me a good deal? Or just convince me that you did?
    Love you Jojo!

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  4. Ah Jo, this made me usual.... what I want to know is where was I when all this was going on? I don't remember the soap on toothbrushes, or the hair clip incident... Perhaps I have selective memory ... I just thought you all got along so well together... Well most of the time :) and about not choosing our families well, Im inclined to think maybe we had a big say in the matter. I would certainly choose each of you as family and friends all over again, in a heart beat. Xxxmum