I Loved

Growing up I was the oldest girl of eight kids.  Though there are three brothers older than I, I am still asked if I am the oldest.   I was the first to be married, the first to have a child.    To be quite honest I am just that much more mature than my three older brothers.   They won’t refute this (only because they don’t read my blog).

When I was younger my siblings and I had what I am sure is a norm of sibling rivalry, affections and terrors.

We did terrorize one another.  I am pretty sure other sibling groups did the same just not in the same way.   We have one brother who’s name happened to be the name of a farm we would pass every weekend.  So we always told him we were going to take him back to the farm where we got him.

We told one younger brother that we were calling the trash men to come get him.

We use to scare the baby sister so she would hug you like crazy out of fear.

They called me Pinky Stinky (and yes I cried).

We called one another “Pig” so often that mom got a little sick of it.  She made us stand in front of a mirror and say “I am a pig”.   Of course the pause between “I” and “a” was filled with “not”.   To which she would yell “I can hear you say not!”

We tattled and we taled.   All through childhood.

We fought with crab apples, sticks, b b guns (it was NOT our fault our parents were silly enough to get them for us), slaps and kicks.  I don’t remember any punches ever being thrown.  But I bet shoes were.

Mom would hold periodic family meetings that no one, no one, wanted.  And she would say during every single meeting “you will never have better friends than each other.”   And of course “you will never love anyone like you do your brothers and sisters”.   To which we moaned, inwardly probably but outwardly sometimes, and groaned our disgust.   Like we couldn’t find better friends than each other!  Love!  Why would I love him/her-he/she is an idiot pig!

In addition to the terrors  were sprinkled other sibling behaviors and events..

There was dinner when heads were bowed and hands were folded and our mealtime prayer was muttered in break neck speed.

There were backyard kickball and softball games.   First bounce or fly.  Hide and seek.  And football of course.

There was always another sibling in the house if you got in trouble because of someone else who would commiserate with you.

There was always another sibling to get help from if school work was just too much.

There was joy when graduates graduated.   Sympathy if you got hurt.  Shared laughter during Hee Haw, or tears you hid from one another during a sad “Waltons”.

There was safety in our numbers.

And no tolerance for stupidity from one another.

We all loved pancake dinners by mom and dad’s fancy lunches.

We all grew up and we all moved on.

There are moments in our lives when we are as we were.   Together in a way like we once were, as siblings, and children.

We cried and laughed our way through our father’s death, funeral and the realization of losing him.

We come together for one of us at any time that one of us is in need.

We celebrate our family’s growth and achievements.

And we suffer together and separately our pains and disappointments.

We laugh together at things only the eight of us would understand.

And I know the truth of what mom said.   I will never love anyone like I love my brothers and sisters.

I didn’t know it then….

But what I did then,

I loved.

And I love.


41 thoughts on “I Loved

  1. I love your blogs about our family the most. I love going back in my mind, seeing what you’re writing, wishing it could be as it was, just for a moment, now and then. To enjoy all that was so innocently taken for granted. To make a few changes. To prevent wrongs. To make a difference to those we both love.


  2. Yes my family too were like this. The funny thing is that when we all meet up again we revert to our childhood ways. The pecking order is unchanged. I love when we all gather together, and fight, bicker and vie for my mums affection.


  3. So your older brothers are ignoring your blog, eh? Well, their ears are burning! lol

    I’ve wondered how my dad’s family got along; all of them RARELY stayed in the same house due to their living in two countris. But dad said his grandpa was strict. I wonder if grandpa’s strictness kept them from fighting? 🙂

    (So now that you are confident your older brothers will NOT read this blog, what are you going to tell us next? lol)


    • 😉 I know they don’t read my blog. If my entire family read my blog the numbers would be astronomical. But they don’t so I feel safe in telling tales. THe sisters read it. And the nieces. So the brothers are the ones who I may poke a little fun at the most…. Except for the one brother who lives in California and doesn’t look like us. Wait, his eyes are brown, yes?????


  4. I miss so much those days. Is it not amazing how smart we get the older our parents get. We can still have a meeting you know. You amaze me Colleen !!!


  5. Like a lot of others … I am 1 of 5 too. But I am the youngest. I know full well I was the baby and was spoilt lol.

    I am also a LOT younger than the rest …the oldest, my sister … she was like a 2nd mum almost. I miss her.

    My brothers …oh lord, there is one (Sean) …. he was the one always in trouble lol. There is nothing like brothers and sisters nods nods … I love them very much.


    • It’s amazing how we love our siblings, even when we look back and don’t recognize our feelings as love. I hope you get to see your siblings soon, especially if you miss them (her) so much. ANd you’re right…nothing like our brothers and sisters…


        • I’m sorry about Orla, Katie. I can’t imagine losing a sibling. Ever. I am ten years older than my youngest sister and I did so much with her, I hope she feels the same way about me. I’m sure Orla misses you too.


  6. Sounds like such a rich family, rife with memories and good times even amongst the bad! Lovely post, it has a feeling of nostalgia but brings about positivity too.


  7. Colleen, I am the oldest of 6. Your description could have been my home, my family, my neighborhood, they could be interchangable parts. And your mom was right, just as my mom giving a similar yet different speech. Thank you for bringing that to the surface. Take care, Bill


    • You’re welcome Bill. Isn’t it amazing how we have the same ‘memories’ from so far apart? That families interactions are the same, even if different? I’m glad it rang familiar with you.


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