"If Calder [her brother] were there he'd tell her how corny she was,
but it wouldn't be what he meant and they'd both know it.
CARRY YOURSELF BACK TO ME
by Deborah Reed
What would it be like for her to be an only child? Do I want her to have a sibling? Will she eventually want a brother or sister? How will it affect my life to be a parent-of-two? How will it affect hers to be a big sister? What impact will it have one way or the other? What is my responsibility to the global population problem? Do I think it's important for her to have a comrade, a friend, an enemy, an ally (all the things siblings are to one another)? Will it be important as she grows older... or as we grow older? Won't it be easier to share the burden of aging parents between two children? And won't it be a comfort to her as well, to have someone to share life with who can understand just what it is to be Our Child?
Within the excitement of a possible murder, the recognizable heartbreak of a woman left by the man she loves, the empty hole of a stalled career, and the loss of ones held near and dear - for me, at the heart of Deborah Reed's CARRY YOURSELF BACK TO ME a story about the deep connection of siblings shines through. A big sister. A little brother. And all the space and time and growth and memories in-between.
It's hard to explain the emotional ties of sibling-hood to someone who's an only child. But if you have a sibling, if you are a sibling, you'd probably agree that there is a love/hate relationship in place and it changes and shifts in different ways over the years. There are moments when you're on the same team and moments when you don't even want to be in the same room. There are hills of playful banter and great stories, and there are valleys of hurtful words and bitter actions. And yet - these are the very things that help to shape who you'll become and how you fit into this world and why you trust who you trust. And this sibling (or these siblings) will likely be with you for life - in all the wonderful and frustrating ways you've ever imagined... sibling rivalry and sibling revelry.
And that is the thought that makes me want to have another baby. Maybe not too soon. But someday.
For more quotes collected from this book, visit Borrowing Wisdom.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Deborah Reed's CARRY YOURSELF BACK TO ME to read and discuss as a member of the online book club From Left to Write. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own.
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