I grew up in a tiny village right on the coast of the Scottish Borders. Having freedom that makes it sound like I grew up in the 60's. I was the embodiment of a free range child and really did travel miles to and from the beach, to friends houses and to hay stack forts.
I could overload the internet reminiscing about growing up in Coldingham. But whilst it was a magical part of my childhood it wasn't and isn't the best bit.
My fantastic siblings. I'm the eldest, Shona 2 years younger than me. Selina 2 years younger than her and Stu 2 years younger again.
I am not going to pretend that I didn't spend most of my childhood hating one or all of them. I was often heard screaming "Why couldn't I have been an only child?" Some of our 'scraps' ended in broken furniture, smashed windows and often in bloodshed. The 5 years Shona and I shared a room were particularly interesting, for reference they are called the screaming years.
In all my best early memories they are there:
The year we started unwrapping the Santa presents without parents at 2am. Stu was too little to join in on this one and escaped Mum's get back to bed or Christmas is cancelled lecture/rant.
Challenging Shona to cycle through the greenhouse to test her Wonder Woman eligibility. Not believing she was stupid enough to try. She was, still bears the scars and still is more Wonder Woman that anyone else I know.
Selina, Shona and I waking Stu up with very loud, very drunken dancing and singing to Shania Twain's Man I Feel Like a Woman. All four of us dissolving into giggles when this 6 foot 4"14 year old with beardy bum fluff whined "I'm telling Muuuuum"
As an adult my sisters are two of my closest friends. Stu ran away to Canada. 3 older sisters will have that effect on a man. I adore them and love spending time with them. They get to me in a way that no other person can. They drive me crazy but woe betide anyone who crosses us. I am quite convinced I would get off a murder charge using the "he/she tried to hurt my sister." Or at least have 2 people to help me hide the body and avoid getting caught in the first place.
My siblings are the reason we are adopting again. I have no desire to move back to a tiny village in the middle of nowhere to raise my family, idyllic as it may be. But I will do everything I can to give smudge a sibling. I'm sure she's going to be grateful in 20 years time when they are both adults. Until then I'll stand back with my hands protecting my ears from the screaming wondering what the hell I was thinking.