I envy my children. I watch them as they play together, laugh together, hear them upstairs talking and giggling when they are supposed to be in their separate rooms asleep...
I find out about one sharing secrets with another, and the other keeping those secrets even when they are mad at their sibling...
Sure, they fight and argue, but it is normal sibling stuff. My daughter and my youngest son are incredibly close, and I watch them, smile, and feel a pang of jealousy.
Why? Because I never had that kind of relationship with my brother. I grew up not understanding how my friends could be so close to their brothers, how they could say they loved them... I grew up being angry about it and at times sickened from seeing close siblings.
I grew up being abused by my brother. He would hit me, touch me, and say horrible things. I would say nothing and tell no one because I was afraid and ashamed.
When I became an adult I would wonder what my life would be like today if I had not grown up with over a decade of abuse at his hands. I wonder if I would have become a teen mother, I wonder if I would have completed high school with my class, I wonder if I would have ever gotten into the abusive relationship with my two youngest children's father.
I wonder what it would feel like to not feel sickened by my brother, what it would feel like to not be ashamed of him, what it would be like to not wish that he was never my brother, to not wish he was NORMAL.
I watched him grow into an adult and continue his abusive behavior to other women, I watched those women gain the courage to leave him after a few years. I listened to him as he claims not to remember anything and I get angry wondering why he is allowed to forget it or deny it while I cannot. I listen as he begs me not to say anything to whatever woman of the moment he is with while I wrestle with my conscience.
I watch my children and envy their relationship and smile at knowing they will not have to endure what I did growing up. I smile knowing that they love eachother, protect eachother, and have a friendship as siblings that I still cannot understand. I look at them, and I am happy.