I've been away from my siblings for far too long. I noticed this when I started reading their friendster accounts and the testimonials other people have left for them. They talk of fun, happy, party going people that I've never gotten to know. They talk of caring individuals, good friends. They seem to talk about total strangers yet describe exactly how I know my siblings to be.
The last time I've lived with my family full time was before I went off to college in Manila. Ever since then, I was never really there to see my brothers and sister grow up. I wasn't there to see the scrapes they got into in high school, or to see them get drunk, or to be there when they first broke their hearts. But then again, who wants an older brother hanging around.
This makes me homesick. I miss having those guys around. I miss the mess, the shouting that takes place in lieu of normal conversation in our household. The frantic frenzy that is dinner time.
I suppose this is why I sort of overcompensated when I was single and I landed a good job. I'd treat them out, I'd buy them things all in the vain attempt that this would replace "bonding" and ease the absence of many years. Classic mistake a parent makes.
Now that I'm a parent myself, I can't help but think how I would behave with my own children. Both of them are growing so fast. Wasn't too long ago that we'd marvel at how fast they've learned to crawl, now, we're telling them to slow down or they might hurt themselves. It wasn't too long when we'd wait for their first word. Today, we'd like them to be quiet and listen sometimes. So many changes, how do we keep up with their own lives?
But keep up we do. We change with them, and we must learn to keep the connection. My siblings and I still have that. We still harken back to the good old days, to the times we've shared. Nothing takes that away because we always remember. We remember the good and the bad and we cherish them even today. Although they may be known differently by their own friends, I know them too. I know them since they were born. I know them all their lives.
Tip #1: Anytime with your kids is quality time. Cherish every moment no matter how mundane or how stressed out you are. If you can't enjoy the moment immediately, remember it when you're putting them to sleep for the day and you look at their peaceful faces.