My sister was five years ahead of me in school and attended a university nine hours away from home. We weren’t close growing up, but became closer once she left for college. Distance of both miles and time helped as well as each year that brought me closer to adulthood, thus catching me up to her. We usually had a pretty good time together when she came home.
DD1 is a sophomore in college this year. Last year her siblings were quite excited when break times loomed near. This year they have mixed emotions, though they don’t readily admit it. That’s sad for me to see. DD1 was four when my youngest was born. The three kiddos were pretty tight growing up.
So why would they not be excited to see DD1? For my son, he sees the girls go off together and leave him out…again. Same old story he’s grown up with. The girls shared a room for over ten years and would often close the door while he sat just outside in the hallway. It was pretty sad, but you can’t force kids to play together.
DD1 is DH’s favorite. I say that from observation only, not from admission on his part. She’s the one he picks on constantly and the other two kids and I understand that he picks on her out of love. He does not do the same with them. DH also actively engages DD1 in board games while she’s home. DS has proposed board games and been turned down. It can be for various reasons. My son doesn’t always have the best timing, but he’s trying to spend time with his dad and I don’t think DH recognizes the motive behind the request.
DD2 has mixed emotions about DD1’s return as DD1 is quite bossy toward her. From a very young age she has tried to take on a role similar to being a third parent. The girls are scarcely 15 months apart in age. When DD1 invited her brother and sister for siblings weekend last year, she tried to get DD2 to not wear her hat and gloves or carry her purse. DD2 stood her ground, thankfully, but it made for conflict. Similar bossing takes place here at home.
In speaking with DD2, I learned that DD1 has told her that she doesn’t believe that DD2 has sensory processing disorder. I think it’s pretty bold to tell someone you don’t think they truly suffer from something, especially when an evaluation by a professional took place (and occupational therapy and counseling followed). Last spring DD1 very dramatically declared that she was “done” with DD2. Something very minor had occurred, and the reaction took me by surprise.
DH and I were relieved when DD1 told us that because of her job this year, she probably won’t be able to have company for sibling’s weekend. Last year was a bit of a disaster. Last year we found out that DD1 was ditching her siblings for a meeting within an hour of their arrival. We were floored, and she wouldn’t tell us what the meeting was for. We left campus with the kids and took them to dinner while DD1 went to her dinner meeting. At the end of the evening, she finally told her dad that the meeting was for a ping pong club. That’s important stuff all right! We were less than pleased with her rudeness. After all, she invited them by her own free choice. Then there was the tension over hats, gloves, and purses. The kids ended up staying with us in our hotel instead of with their sister due to a lesser chain of events.
Then there’s the phone. It is constantly in DD1’s hand, and constantly chirping that someone put something on snap chat. That sure can’t wait. She doesn’t fully come home to us when that thing’s going off and interrupting conversations all the time. I think I’ll campaign for the phone to stay home during the Christmas visits. I get tired of it, too.
I don’t know what the answer to all of this is. The girls are adults and our son is in high school. I can see both sides of the issue, to a degree, but it is for them to work out.
Here’s hoping that they can find new footing to stand on with each other, and that they can stand on that new ground in a positive way.