I have often argued that it is mandatory to have a sibling. Because after your parents, the sibling is your only close family - someone who has shared your childhood, your room, your parents and your clothes. Someone who knows you almost as well as you know yourself. When I see Ojas & Tejas rolling on the bed laughing together, play acting, quarreling, protecting each other, I can see the wisdom of having siblings. And more than just siblings, I am probably coming to terms with having two male children. My theory about men and women bonding with their own gender better.
Lot of people say that I have enough cousins to share my childhood with. I argue again. For your child your cousins' children are further removed from the family. Even your sibling's children are first cousins. And no longer in today's context they will share their childhood. The bonding is stronger with own sibling anyday! So are you ensuring that you are securing your child's future interms of having a companion in the form of a sibling after you?
What would I have done if I did not have siblings whom I can call up anytime and ask to baby sit so that I could go to the gym or the parlour or the movie? Who is my fall-back in times of great emotional need? Whom do I pick up the phone and call when I want to gossip or share the latest?
We siblings lived together in chennai- both sisters working and brother studying. There were times when we fought, argued, did not speak for a few days and then were back to normal. Just like how I do that with my husband now.
I feel heartened everytime I see my or K's sibling(s) spend time with the kids, treat them as their own and indulge them royally. I sometimes wonder what is it that they enjoy about spending time with someone else's kids? What prompts them to take them for a quick drive or enjoy playing with them? I don't know whether I would live up to the standards they have set in enjoying my children. Or maybe I would know when I see them! The call of blood will perhaps come into play.
My another deepest wish is to have a close circle of friends with whom I can bond emotionally and socially. It is a little inexplicible but i mean the kind who fall in the category of "best friend in school"- one can have many friends but only a few will make a gang or a circle- who will eat lunch together, play togther during recess, may be live in and out of each other's house and freak out together. And among the lot, maybe one can have one or two- best friends.
These category of friends would be someone whom I will not hesitate to call in times of greatest need. Families with whom we could spend the weekend/ go for a trip/ or have a simple weekend or anytime dinner.
Someone who will not mind babysitting my kids or would not think twice before letting their kids have a pajama party in my house. Where formality would not be allowed or expected.
Someone who will not mind holding my kid's hand while I shop in peace. Someone with whom I will not quarrel to pay the bill or my share of dinner in a hotel, or would be equally comfortable doing frequent dutch meals. We could together rant away to glory and not be judged but supported and also neither would the subject(s) of the rant be judged. They are the sort of friends whom you will call up and inform the important, unimportant, exciting and random events of your life- because each of you would understand exactly why the event is interesting to you. My friend AD called me up to tell me that she got her copies of Jeffery Archer books signed by the author himself, after standing in a long queue. She called me exactly for this reason because she simply had to share that elation she felt after shaking hands with the author incarnate.
I have seen friends who routinely take my kids out for a drive or indulge them with their favourite snack - when one does it once or twice it could be ajudged as just a formality- but doing it regularly does mean something.
All of us need family friends like these where both spouses can connect else it becomes difficult to continue the friendship.
On this note I count my blessings that there are a lot of kind souls out there who genuinely take interest in my kids.