Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It's All Doug's Fault



When it comes to check-out lane reading material, I am not a Time magazine type of gal; give me InStyle or Real Simple and I'm good. But the July 10th issue really caught my eye and I had to take a copy home with me - the cover said,

HOW YOUR SIBLINGS MAKE YOU WHO YOU ARE

Hm. So, here's some interesting quotes from the article...

"From the time they are born, our brothers and sisters are our collaborators and co-conspirators, our role models and cautionary tales. They are our scolds, protectors, goads, tormentors, playmates, counselors, sources of envy, objects of pride. They teach us how to resolve conflicts and how not to; how to conduct friendships and when to walk away from them. Sisters teach brothers about the mysteries of girls; brothers teach sisters about the puzzle of boys. Our spouses arrive comparatively late in our lives; our parents eventually leave us. Our siblings may be the only people we'll ever know who truly qualify as partners for life. 'Siblings', says family sociologist Katherine Conger of the University of California, 'are with us for the whole journey.'"

I was also comforted to read that childhood fights between siblings can be a good thing. I worry about Greg and Daniel because they seem to rarely have a peaceful moment. Doug and I barely fought at all - but then again, we were four years apart. So this quote cooled me down a little:

"...sibs between 3 and 7 years old engage in some kind of conflict 3.5 times an hour. Kids in the 2-4 age group top out at 6.3 - or more than one clash every 10 minutes..."

Don't I know it?!?!

"But as much as all the fighting can set parents' hair on end, there's a lot of learning going on too, specifically about how conflicts, once begun, can be settled."

Yeah, my kids haven't gotten that far yet. They can't settle a conflict without resorting to physical violence. (Our friend, Monty King, created this appropriate photo of my boys when we lived in Houston. )

I also want to mention at this point that their research showed that children with no siblings do just fine. There's no conclusive evidence that they struggle with social skills, or anything else for that matter!

There were other theories in the article that I won't go into here, especially one about men and homosexuality that was a big load of crap-ola. But the article in general made me thankful for my brother and for the little men in my house. No one knows you like your siblings. No one understands you like they do. Doug saw me through all my stages, all my highs and lows. He knows where I've been, where I've come from, because he was there.

I wonder what I'd be like today if we'd had a sister. Sometimes with groups of women I feel like I am just not "getting it" or I get bored with the "girlieness" of it all. Maybe that's because I didn't have a sister, I don't know. But I do think our siblings have a lot more to do with who we are than we ever realized.

9 comments:

Angele said...

Neat stuff! I grew up an only child and wonder how I'd be different with sibs? Thank goodness the article says only kids do just fine--my sister-in-law is one of 5 and sometimes I think she thinks I'm clueless about some things because I was an only child, which she assumes means I was spoiled and got everything I wanted and her life by contrast was so much more difficult...ugh. I've had to educated her about the realities of being raised by a necessarily-frugal single mother and that life was great not because I had everything I wanted, just had everything I needed.

Love that picture of the boys!!!!

Erin Haley said...

definately up for the beach volleyball!

I was going to ask you, should i bring irelyn's portable booster chair, or do you have one? we are renting a van, so we should be able to fit everything, but if you have some stuff, then i won't bring it...
also, if you have a pac'n'play, then i'll just bring one...it might be easier to have elise in one too. (she's in a reg. bed at home, but i don't know if she'll get up a lot in a new place?)
and lastly...:) should we bring any bedding stuff, or are we good on that too? just let me know!!!

i liked your post...brothers are great, huh? Dave just came over yesterday and took me and the girls to breakfast out on gull lake at this little bakery. we ran into mike hurn's mom, and she immediatley said, you've got to be Dave's sister! don't cha just love that?

Anonymous said...

You're the best, sister -

If we had a sister, her name would have been Rowena -she would have been a nuisance with pigtails-we would have smacked her around and locked her in your attic cubby hole behind the door in your room. She would have been the weakest link - I'm glad it was just you and I!
Love you -
Your little brother

Janine said...

Yes, boys fight! We don't get too worried about the physical stuff but the heart stuff is not tolerated. Like if Jake is excited about something and Kyle says "Soooo?" Ugh, I really hate that. My parents had a marble table that always had this pretty table runner on it. Why? Because it was cracked in half after my oldest brother tossed the other one onto it during a fight!

Holly said...

Jaden and Asher get along FOR THE MOMENT, but I often wonder if I'm going to have best buds or best bullies....lol

Jana said...

Nice pictures. I'm trying to comment on your blog. Let me know if this works.

Deb said...

just wanted to let you know I stopped by.

Shelly Buck said...

Hey Jeannie. What up chickie? I got a kick out of this. With Noah and Zoe being in the 2-4 age group, I still think it's more than 6.1 times an hour. It's enough to drive me crazy. It's so good to hear how you guys are and what's going on. I miss you!!!
Shelly

Jer said...

Jeannie,
WOW! You are a pro at this whole blogging thing...I read several of your posts and checked out your pics...cute boys! I wish they could meet mine and rough each other up a bit.

I just started blogging and Jenn hasn't even looked at all of this blogging stuff yet...she needs an orientation!

You look good, I'm so jealous you live in MN!!! Where exactly are you? We should look you up the next time we are up north.

By the way, your blogs are funny, insightful, and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'll try and do better...I feel odd writing...or blogging rather...anyway, God Bless!

Jennifer's husband, Jeremy!