Sibling loveBy Ruby Ortiz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
And so we had a little fight. Okay, it was “little” compared to the huge fights we have had.
Getting out of the box and assigning a different name to each character, I’ll tell you what happened:
It was a great morning. Sniff and Caf prepared breakfast and so everyone ate a good breakfast. Then, Shouty washed the dishes and decided to clean up the dining area. After half an hour, Shouty went to the living room and shouted, “Get out, I’ll be cleaning!” And she shouted again: “Get out!”
Because no one was listening, Shouty cried. So Caf, being very patient, got up and went to the bedroom. But Sniff was doing something on the computer, and told Shouty: “I am doing something important.” Shouty shouted: “No, it’s not important!” Sniff told Shouty: “Grow up.” Shouty then shouted something that Sniff has since forgotten. Sniff just said: “Grow up.” Shouty shouted again. Caf, returning to the scene, patiently told Sniff to just get out. Sniff went out, telling Shouty: “Sorry, but grow up.” Then Shouty shouted once more. THE END.
Okay, that’s a really crazy story. And who would love to read that type of story? It’s boring, it’s senseless, it’s crazy. It’s poorly written, the characters’ names are weird, and the story plot is, well, was it in fact a story? The story is actually about a sibling fight I was involved in that morning. And since that’s not the type of story I would love to tell, I constructed it in a way I would not love to read, or relive in real life. But what transpired that morning is worth reflecting on.
Sibling fights we’ve had a lot of. I never needed a sensei to teach me karate punches or tae kwon do kicks. I learned how to punch, kick, push, pull, roll on the floor, and strangle (for God’s sake) from very good teachers, and those were my siblings. I also learned how to fight with sharp words like “Hope you die soon!” or “Hope you lose your mind!” or “Your crush is stupid!” Aside from powerful offense, I also learned brilliant defense techniques, like dodging and hiding behind a very powerful and strong wall that makes me invisible
(wall = my dad). After all the battles I’ve been through, I know I am immortal.
My siblings and I argue. We have differences, that’s why. We argue because of pride, or envy, or irrationality, or childishness. We argue, period.
Arguments end relationships. That’s true. They end selfish relationships, childish relationships, envious relationships. But a new relationship is then formed. Whether it’s a weaker or stronger relationship depends on the establishment of equilibrium between pride and humility.
Sibling relationships are among the most prized relationships you can have in a lifetime. You have someone to throw pillows at when you’re angry, someone to blame for your miserable school project, someone to pull you out of a construction pit, someone to lend you money (for your baon) especially when you force him/her to do so, someone to cry with when you lose your dog, and someone you laugh with when you slip and fall. You have someone you never really wished for, and never will wish for. It’s like “Okay, fate has decided, and now you’re siblings, make each other’s life happy, miserable, crazy, funny…” That’s it. You don’t get the opportunity to decide who your siblings will be, what a cruel world.
But I know in my heart that if you fight with any of my siblings, I’ll make your last days on earth really miserable, believe me. Make him/her cry, go out and hide or you’ll be strangled to death. Bruise him/her, and you’ll be so covered with bruises, you’ll never know what a red muscle means. Fool him/her, I’ll make you eat wool (because the words rhyme).
No one has the right to make any of my siblings cry (except me). NO ONE. So don’t you dare.
Siblings are people you just have to spend your life with without asking the reason why. Just don’t ask. That will make it simpler. Or take it the other way around: They are the people who have to spend their lives with the thought that they have you (and how do you think that makes them feel?). Siblings, usually, live with you in your childhood days, those days when you dream about being the princess, or the dragon-slayer, or the beauty queen. What was the role of your siblings then? Oh, the witch, the dragon itself, and the not-so-good contestant?
Then you grew up. What’s the role of your siblings now? Having been the witch, your sibling must have taught you that it’s bad character that makes someone really ugly. Having been the dragon, your sibling must have taught you how to confront and fight your fears. (You must face the monstrous difficulties with courage built one day at a time. If you think your sibling is a dragon, then that makes you a dragon, too. Unleash your power.) Having been the not-so-good contestant, your sibling must have taught you how to deal with insecurities. (He/she will tell you honestly when you look 40 years older or when you stink. Their honest opinions about you become the reasons why you decide to grow and change for the better.)
Your parents may be your first teachers, but your siblings are your worst teachers who bring out the BEST in you. They teach you the value of sharing, of honesty, of humility, of courage, and of patience in a deep level that no one else can ever reach. They may eat the most luscious slice of pizza while looking at you, but if someone smashes a pizza in your face, believe me, your sibling will smash that person’s face and put it in the pizza. That’s gross.
Okay. So my point is…
Argue with your siblings, then befriend them. Make them angry, then let their head cool. And embrace them with the warmth of your care and understanding. Value them. For they taught you first what real love is. Even though you’re different, you’re still meant to be together. Even though it’s a roller-coaster relationship, it’s still a fun ride. Even though you never wished for them, you hope it will be them forever.
My life has never been boring because of my siblings. How about yours?
Ruby Ortiz, 25, is an educator at the Center for Blended Learning.
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