Super Special Sibling Speak

Let’s be honest with each other, shall we?  I grew up as the baby of four kids.  We had our ups and downs but, let it be known that, I wouldn’t change a single thing.  That being said, there were many times growing up when I thought that my siblings were complete assholes.  For example, there was the notorious time when they actually made an entire flowchart explaining that I was adopted and who my potential fathers were.  I think the end result was that I really belonged to the mailman.

My three siblings all have dark hair, dark eyes, and a more olive-toned complexion.  I came out with bleach blond hair, green eyes, and porcelain bordering on transparent skin.  The picture below should illustrate why they said I was adopted.  At one point they even told me that I was actually a Cabbage Patch Kid and that I had Xavier Roberts written on my ass.  Classic!


For the most part, my memories of my childhood with my siblings are broken into two categories: when we were laughing and when we were fighting.  We were experts at polar opposites so when we fought we really fought!  But when we laughed, shit, we could laugh for hours.  I think the laughter actually frustrated my mother more than the fighting.  The fighting was something that she just wanted to end but she never wanted to be a part of.  The laughter was different though.  It wasn’t that we intentionally left my mother out but I feel like so many of the times that we were laughing went without an explanation.  And when we would try to explain, the explanation always fell short of why we really found something so funny.  A perfect example is when my sister L. and I would ride in the back seat of the car together.  One of us would very gently, and very slowly poke the other one in the arm with our pointer finger.  The other one would then respond in kind.  We would go back and forth doing this and, in a matter of minutes, we would be in a fit of giggles.  Mom would always demand to know what we were laughing about but how do you explain something like that?  As an objective adult I don’t see how that was so funny but, even now, it will still make us laugh.

Those little moments are part of the reason why I always feel both sad and lonely for kids who grew up as an only child.  You can have an amazing relationship with your parents, you can meet handfuls of fantastically wonderful friends in your life, but nothing will ever compare to the relationship that you share with a sibling who has shared your entire life with you.  They have a shared perspective on you, your life, and the world as a whole that no one else will ever understand.  I share a language with my siblings that I couldn’t possibly explain to anyone else.

My other sister D. and I grew incredibly close when I moved out to Denver when I was 18.  I swear that she could always sense when I was lonely and homesick and in need of her support and she would reach out to me to offer that support.  My brother A. and I never seemed to need verbal communication to show that we loved and supported each other.  I was his little tomboy sister.  We would rough house, play sports, and talk about the girls that he was interested in.  I still maintain that he is the main reason why some of my closest friends throughout my life have always been guys.  He provided a sense of security, humor, and understanding to me and he never made me feel like I had to explain myself or my feelings.  He just rolled with the punches, both literally and figuratively.  He is also the main reason that I have a tendency to play “Punch for Punch” with gentlemen when I have had a few too many to drink.

Some people have “twin speak” and I maintain that we have “sibling speak”.  We often finish each other’s sentences, trains of thought, or can follow a line of vision to zone in on what the other thinks is so funny.  Friends absolutely hate playing games with us if any of us are on the same team because we always dominate.  A prime example is the game “Catch Phrase”.  In this game the caller is given a word and they have to get the guesser to guess what that word is without saying the word.  When my sibs and I play together the game goes a little like this:

D.:  A dog

L.: Bichon Frise


L.:  A State

Me: Nebraska


We all just exist on the same wave length and there is no place else that I would rather be.  L. utilized “sibling speak” when she called and asked me the following questions this week:

1.  You remember that song?

Answer: Yes, it was the Care Bears “Things Are Getting Better All The Time”.

2.  What were those books that we read as kids?

Answer:  The Serendipity book series.

3.  What was the quote about crying by Andre?

Answer: “She said she usually cried at least once each day not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful & life was so short.”  Brian Andreas

Even when we ask the wrong questions, we are still able to give each other the right answers.

So on this Thankful Thursday I am not simply thankful for my siblings; I am thankful for the kids that I grew up with and the adults that I have become friends with.  We share a bond with each other that will never be matched or duplicated.  Their pain is my pain, their joy is my joy, and my heart beats not just for me, but for each one of them in turn.  So while I may still look a little like the mailman, there is absolutely no doubting that we were all, indeed, cut from the same cloth.

The girls and I:


My brother and I:


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