This is my little sister. This photograph was taken not long after she arrived off the red-eye flight from Perth – she met Rohan for the first time on collapsing into bed with he and I for a brief shut-eye before the other two woke up and jumped all over her. (All that to explain why they all look like such ragamuffins – though honestly my kids always look like ragamuffins. Anyone know how I can get Finn to stop chewing on his damn necklines?!)
There are three years and eight months between she and I. Almost the same gap as between Finn and Niamh. When we were kids, we fought like demons about everything. I seem to remember getting in trouble a lot for things that she did, though I’m sure there were times when the opposite was true. There have been some pretty dreadful arguments even now we’re (supposedly) adults. The worst time was when we attempted to share a house together. It’s probably lucky Dermot was around or we may not have come out of that one intact. Our relationship remains rollercoaster-like, but we do (mostly!) love each other. My kids adore her, and I love that. Living on opposite sides of the country is possibly a good thing though :giggle:
I’m also living on the other side of the experience now… Finn and Niamh are as bad as my sister and I were. Maybe worse? There are times of wonderful playing-togetherness, but it tends to fall apart in the end, because Finn likes to set rules and then police them, whereas Niamh likes to set different tules and then completely and utterly ignore all of the rules!
Since Rohan was born there has been a subtle positive shift in the brother-sister dynamics – there is a little bit more of an ‘us and him’ feeling. But I wonder how that’s going to all play out once he’s a bit older and wanting to join in with the big kids.
I’m experiencing sudden empathy for my mother, and wondering how I can help these two grow into a better relationship. Parts of the school break were hard. I never wanted to be that parent who breathed a huge sigh of relief when term started, but I have to admit, yesterday I did just that. We all seem to do better when these two spend a significant part of the day apart from each other.