It hit me as a surprise, as any of these Facebook-promoted holidays do. My husband is American and I still have to explain to my in-laws which holidays we celebrate here in Canada and which ones we don’t.

But Siblings day did get me thinking – both about how my rainbows relate to their brothers, and about how I relate to my sibling.

Rebecca is now 6, so she is old enough to understand a lot about Nate and Sam. She understands they were babies in my tummy before she was born. She understands that they died and were cremated (in her words “burned up in an oven”) and that they are in urns on our dresser. She knows that Mommy is sometimes sad when she thinks about them, but that’s okay, because it is okay to sometimes be sad. She knows they are in heaven, with Poppa, who she claims to remember but couldn’t possibly because he died when she was not yet 2. She doesn’t understand that they would be 8 years old today and that they would be at least equally annoying, if not more so, than her little brother. She asks a lot about why they died, and is very frustrated when I tell her that we don’t know exactly what happened. I tell her that I feel that way too.

Alex is not quite 4, so his understanding is more limited. He sometimes wants to see his brothers, because he knows they are in the urns next to their picture, but so far I haven’t let him. He knows that we bake a cake for their birthday, which he thinks is pretty awesome because, hey, cake! He doesn’t really express much more about them than that, but perhaps he will in time.

I have a sister too. Growing up, we were never very close, because we had different interests and different friends. Now, she lives on the other side of the world, so we don’t see each other very often. But when the doctor arranged for my induction date with Alex, I purposely asked if we could have him on her birthday. I wanted them to share something special. They’ve never been together yet for their birthdays, but when that happens we’ll have a very, very big cake.

As we grow older, our relationships with our siblings change. We interact with each other in whole new ways when our parents are not in the room. Maybe you are close to your siblings or maybe not. But I will always wonder about how Rebecca and Alex would relate to their brothers and what role they would have played in one another’s lives.

My sister and my son share a birthday for a reason!

My sister and my son share a birthday for a reason!

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