If I could go back in time to March 13, the first thing I would do is buy up all the Easter candy I could find instead of promising myself there'd be plenty later. And then I would call my siblings and my parents and demand that everyone, children included, come to my house so we could all be together. Maybe by now we'd be ready to bonk each other over the heads with our jars of sourdough starter, but I really wish I was quarantined with my siblings this National Sibling Day.
It's not just because I want the extra company or that I want my niece and nephews to keep my own two girls entertained — I do — but this moment in time is so big right now. This is such a jarring, life-changing event. Everyone keeps comparing it to how the world felt after 9/11, and I get it. We are all sharing this massive thing. But it also feels big on a personal level in ways that only my siblings can understand, because they understand what life was like before, and how it has tilted each of our lives specifically. And every big thing in my life up until now has included my siblings.
Big was going to England for my granny's funeral and delivering her eulogy while my little brother held my 3-year-old in his lap. Big was getting married, my sister-in-law and older sister curling their hair next to me, my brother downstairs pinning on his boutonniere. Big was Christmas morning, my sister and my brother and me all piled into one of our beds after sneaking a look at the presents under the tree.
And I wish we weren't experiencing this next big thing over Zoom.
I wish all of us and our parents could do a puzzle together. I wish I could pour everyone coffee in the morning, pass bowls of cereal to my nephews, ask my brother to preheat the oven for bacon. I wish our kids could all play in the backyard, that we could ensure our parents were safe by keeping them with us, that we could take family walks and feel comforted in our little unit. I wish I could've played a practical joke on my brother on April Fool's Day, I wish my sister could spearhead my 5-year-old's digital learning lessons, I wish I could read bedtime stories to all of the cousins snuggled together.
It feels immensely unfair that in a time of such turmoil and uncertainty and fear, we can't be with the ones we love the most. It is immensely unfair. And this National Sibling Day, all I can think about is how vital my brother and sister are to me. They feel like extra limbs — huge parts of me — and being forced away from them is terrifying and weird. I'm lucky I can call them. I'm lucky I can FaceTime them and Zoom them and see their Facebook posts.
But when there's something this big happening, we need back-up. And I wish I had mine.