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  • Writer's pictureKate O'Connor

Siblings are a gift... right?

Siblings are a blessing, and a curse, and everything in between. I know this for a fact because I have two older brothers. Yes, I am the baby of the family and the only girl. And my brothers, for those of you who don't know them, are giants. Both stand at over six feet tall, and do not look like the kind of guys you'd want to meet in a dark alley. Of course, they are both teddy bears (and thankfully in the dark about this blog). However, I didn't always think they were as lovely as I do now.

Let me take you back to my childhood. Oh so long ago, I can hardly remember. Woe is me for getting old and all that. Can you imagine what I'll be like when I'm actually old?? But I digress.

As all siblings tend to do, one of our favourite pastimes was wrestling. Jimmy and Dan would go first, and I would fight the winner. Why it was this way I have no idea. I wasn't strong, or fast enough on my feet to win. But this was the pattern we always followed. Inevitably, Jimmy would always beat Dan. And then he would turn to me. Well, it didn't take me long to figure out that the smartest (and least painful) thing to do was to just lay down. I'd stand there, a ball of nerves, every time determined that I'd actually have a go and by some miracle maybe I'd win. But once that look was on me, courage was out and cowardice was in. I never won.

Jimmy had this wooden stick he loved to death. It was more of a branch or something I guess. A couple of inches thick and a couple of feet long, it was all rounded and smooth on the ends and was probably more like a wizard's staff than anything else. It had the ability to be anything he needed it to be, depending on the game we were playing at the time. Or that he and Dan were playing at the time. I remember coming outside one day and asking if I could play too. Jimmy replied "Nope." and promptly whacked me over the head with the staff. I went inside crying to my grandma, and she told me not to be silly, of course they'd let me play, go and ask again. So, with a child's naivety, away I went. "Jimmy, can I...", "Nope.", whack. I gave up after that.

All three of us kids have always been huge book worms. In particular we all have a great love for fantasy. During a time when The Shannara Series was huge in our house, a lot of our games revolved around being in the woods somewhere and there would be elves and hordes of goblins coming for us. I had recently come up with the idea that I was 'magic and special'. For the uninitiated, 'magic and special' covers all bases. I could do spells, make potions, speak to animals, listen to the trees talk, hear a cry a mile away and run like the wind, among other things. I was magic and special in every single game I played. And on this one particular day, I wanted to join in the boys' game. But I wanted to be a fairy. Dan said fairies didn't fit with the game they were playing. I cried and whined and threatened to go to Mum, and they gave in. Dan's first move as I became a part of the game was to 'pin me to a tree trunk by my wings with an arrow'. Pffft, please. I'm a fairy. A 'magic and special' fairy, at that! I said I'd just pull the arrow out. Dan told me it was a magic arrow, a very powerful spell so strong that only the one who fired the arrow could remove it. Being fully invested in my character, I believed him. And that's how I spent an entire afternoon watching my brothers play their game while I remained pinned to a tree trunk by my fairy wings.

So yes. A blessing, a curse, a pain in the rear end. But I'll tell you what, I wouldn't change them for anything. I would like to pin them to a couple of tree trunks by their fairy wings though.

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