I’m an only child.
That one statement has impacted my life in countless ways. I’ve had to learn to entertain myself. My friendships mean something extra to me, because so many of my friends have a sibling bond that I’ve never had. I spend more time with my parents than anyone else, honestly.
So when my friends treat me like a sister, it means something different to me. I’ve never experienced being a sister. I’ll never get to experience it. I’m not entirely sure what it means. But when someone does something that, to the best of my understanding, a sibling would do: it makes me glow inside.
A few months ago, I was stuck on a bus trip for fourteen hours. I entertained myself by staring out the window, or listening to my music; but I also talked off a few of my friends’ ears. One of my friends had some music he was listening to, and he handed me one of his ear buds for me to hear a song.
Now, there’s two emotions that go with that. The first is, ew. Those things were in his ears. How often does he clean his ears, those buds are probably disgusting and nasty and have his ear goop on them. And the second is, wow. I don’t share ear buds with people, mainly because reason number one (ew). But he had no reservation of handing me an ear bud, letting me stick it in my ear, and then taking it right back. If I had a brother or sister, I’d like to think that’s something they would do. And that makes me smile, because I never get that kind of interaction.
Only a few days ago, I was at a picnic. One of my friends walked up behind me and put grass on my head. I didn’t shy away from retaliation, so I grabbed a handful of grass myself and stuck it down his shirt.
Thus the War of the Grass began.
Normally, I’m the kid who sees someone with a snowball and a smirk and I yell, “Hey; don’t even think about it!” But for some reason, when my friend’s younger brother also put grass on my head, I started chasing him around the lawn. And then his two brothers chased him, and there was some tackling, and some grass in various baseball caps…
And it was like I had siblings for just a few minutes. I never get that interaction. I don’t have a sister to share a room with and whisper secrets to. I don’t have an older brother who drives me crazy but would protect me from anything. I don’t have a younger siblings who want me to play dolls or want to teach me how to properly throw a football.
I just have me, most days.
So, even though I had to deal with grass in my hair, it put such a smile on my face. I’m so grateful for those kinds of interactions with pretend little brothers.
And the best part is, I totally don’t have to live with them on a day to day basis.