Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Chosen Ones

On a day to day basis, I don't think about being without brothers and sisters. Born to two parents who had already been through a world of shit and contemplated long and hard about having me. . . just one. . . I really learned how to be among adults as a little person, and adapt to what was expected: don't act out, be pleasant and appropriate, or else.

My parents weren't corporal or demanding. Not by any stretch, but being an only child led me to a realization of grief I never thought to process and experience. I didn't have a place, with my peers, to be myself in all of its occasional ugliness. To express and sit in it and know that a brother or sister, no matter how scorned, would come back to love me. Completely. In thinking about vulnerability, it makes a lot of sense why several folks get the crust but so very few get the core.

And those few are my siblings. My chosen family. Tears come to my eyes thinking how lonely it can be to be "strong" and "exceptional", because it's not my (whole) truth. I am a myriad of wonderful things, and working on finding even more to adore but it's like my basal region is held prisoner. I always wondered why relating was so exhausting, and I was so good at playing the part with those I knew I loved but was gasping for air to love fully.

I stand firmly beside those I have picked to be the ones who see me angry, frustrated, silent, weepy and scorned. They are holding all of my heart and I'm terrified, but I will invest in them buckets of trust and love and know, even if I stomp my feet and pound my fists, that they will say, "Enough" and then love up on me, muscles relaxing and receiving that type of love that I am so ready to take in.

I always said being an only made me work harder to find friends. That is a truth as clear as crystal. I worked at it until I was no longer a tree; instead shaved down to a stick. I made wonderful connections that I still have today. Dozens even. But experiencing those relationships with the lightness of being myself is the difference between flying on an airplane and flying with wings. It's light, natural. . . right. It's where I go from here.

1 comment:

  1. Being one of four, I'm very grateful for my siblings. I have gained so much from those key relationships, but make no mistake. Those lessons didn't come easy. Growing up wasn't all peace and rainbows. You mentioned "strength". Well, there was a different kind of muscle that was required. My siblings taught me how to fight...for the front seat, for the last slice of pizza, for my time in the bathroom. Silly examples, I know, but through juvenile sparring, I learned how to protect my difference of opinion, fight for justice and above all, love the uniqueness of me (while accepting and loving the uniqueness of them too...the good and the real).

    Sibs or not, we're never alone. And so now I'm compelled to sing...

    "You are the wings beneath my wing."

    I love you, Sis :-)