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WHY I LOVED GROWING UP WITH SIBLINGS April 10 is National Siblings Day. Since I have eight siblings, I wanted to highlight how great it was growing up with brothers and sisters. I’ll start by saying that my parents are divorced, so several of my siblings might be considered by law to be half siblings or stepsiblings. However, I decided a long time ago that labels don’t matter. To me, family is family, and my siblings make up such a huge part of my childhood and adolescence that I know growing up wouldn’t have been the same without them.
in a tent in the backyard. But when it came time to pitch the tent, they decided they weren’t brave enough to sleep on the lawn, so they moved it to the back porch instead. Once they settled in for the night, Bryan and I quietly sneaked under the porch and started making ferocious growling noises — they thought a bear was coming to get them! They sprinted inside to escape, but soon found us out because we were rolling on the ground in laughter. I still give Becky a hard time about that prank to this day! “MY PARENTS, THINKING THAT WE HAD JUST JUMPED TO OUR DEATHS, LEANED OVER AND SAW US LYING IN THE SNOW IN THE FETAL POSITION STIFLING OUR GIGGLES AS BEST WE COULD!” Another one of my favorite pranks took place after a huge New Jersey snowstorm, and fortunately for Becky, she wasn’t the butt of this joke. It snowed a foot or two, so my brothers and I built an igloo. When we called
our parents out to look at the beautiful snowflakes, we jumped off the porch (which was an entire story off the ground) into our secret pile of snow situated below. My parents, thinking that we had just jumped to our deaths, leaned over and saw us lying in the snow in the fetal position stifling our giggles as best we could! While I’ve met a lot of people who grew up as single children and enjoyed it, I wouldn’t trade my experiences with my brothers and sisters for anything. Now, having four kids of my own, I hope they mirror my relationships with my siblings in their own lives. There is something really wonderful about having built-in best friends who will always stick up for you and support you. At the end of the day, you can leave home, go to school, get married, have children, or move thousands of miles away, but you will always have your siblings to depend on.
For the first several years of my life, my only sibling was my older sister, Aimee. Our bedrooms were situated one next to the other, and we shared a wall. Back before cellphones were a thing, Aimee and I fought over the landline so we could chat with our friends. I remember instances when the phone would ring, and we would race each other to answer first. If the call was for her, I’d just bang on our shared wall, and she’d do the same for me. I remained the baby of the family for nine years until my sister, Becky, came along. At that point, my mom was married to my stepdad, and I gained three new older brothers as well: Bryan, Kevin, and Michael — which is why I still go by “Mike” all these years later. Once all these brothers were brought into the picture, my parents noticed that my pranking tendencies went into overdrive. The best “friendly big brother” prank we ever played was on Becky and her friends when she was in elementary school. She had invited one of her girlfriends to sleep over
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