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Or maybe kittens…

If The Legal Genealogist ran the circus, they wouldn’t exist.

By the time I was four, I was done with siblings.

I had an older sister. I had a younger brother.

Enough already yet.

So if I’d had my way, here on National Siblings Day,1 I’d be mentioning three people. My older sister. My younger brother. And the bonus we discovered a few years later — our older brother from my father’s first marriage.

Enough already yet!


This was, after all, the years before The Pill.

And so — given the failure of every method of birth control except The Pill2 — there are a lot more people to mention here on National Siblings Day. Add in a younger sister. And three more younger brothers.

Eight in all, if you add me into the mix.

Growing up in a household with that many siblings can be a first class royal pain in the posterior:

• That cute baby thing you do that’s really cute stops being cute at all the minute the new baby enters the house.

• You’re going to be a champ at baby-feeding and diaper-changing long before you’re out of elementary school.

• No matter what childhood disease is going around, you’re going to catch it. Sooner or later. From one of your siblings.

• You never ever ever take your eyes off your plate if there’s something really good being served at dinner.

• You’re never going to go on a real vacation, with stays at hotels or meals at restaurants, after the number of kids is greater than the number of hands the adults have.

• Even if you’re one of the older ones, you rarely get anything new except one set of school shoes at the beginning of each school year.3

• You’re going to learn to drive in a station wagon. Or a bus. Not a minivan. A bus.4



There were times when I would gleefully have traded every one of my siblings for a kitten.

And then something miraculous happened.

We grew up.

We went our separate ways.

We learned our separate trades.

Found our separate mates, had our separate kids, traded some of the mates in for new ones, welcomed grandchildren.

Made our separate homes, now in five separate states.

Made our separate mistakes.

Physically we grew apart.

And in our hearts we came together.

We touched base with our older brother and drew him in to our craziness.5

We have celebrated together. We have mourned together. This past year we have been frightened together — and we have Zoomed together.

And we have come to understand together how strange and wonderful this bond of siblings can be.

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: There has never been a day in my life when I haven’t been loved fiercely. Never a day in my life when I haven’t loved fiercely back. Even when I bitterly disappointed these folks, and I have — oh, how I have, there has never been a day in my life when they haven’t closed ranks around me and protected my back.

I can’t imagine anything in my life that I might ever need that these folks wouldn’t band together to try to provide, and there isn’t anything I can imagine that I wouldn’t do for them.

My siblings. Evan, Diana, Paul, Kacy, Fred, Warren and Bill.

I love ’em all.

Even if I’d still occasionally trade one or more of them for a kitten…

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Celebrating siblings,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 10 Apr 2021).


Image: 1963 Chevrolet Greenbrier, image by Greg Gjerdingen, CC BY 2.0

  1. Wikipedia (, “Siblings Day,” rev. 21 Mar 2021.
  2. Yeah, I actually do know which method failed with which sibling, but there are some things I don’t put out there in the blog. I value my life, after all…
  3. Think hand-me-downs from older cousins.
  4. Chevrolet Greenbrier in our case. Same color as in the picture.
  5. I’d apologize to him for that, but I think he’s gotten used to it now…
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