Since when did everything have a “day”? I blame social media for ensuring that not just regular birthdays, death anniversaries, and every other family-oriented holiday on the calendar, but even more days of the year, now pain me.
I admit I’m particularly sensitive to this one, and I don’t mean to be all triggery. Having lost two of my brothers by age thirty-five, National Siblings Day just doesn’t always feel so lovely.
Even though I have one surviving brother, and it’s good to be reminded to appreciate him, plus I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about and writing about my beloved brother David—as anyone who has read my work knows—sometimes I still want a break. And then it’s April 10, which is another moment to be annoyed, if not downright weepy, while scrolling through social media channels.
You might say, “Well, just don’t be online today then!” Except I work in marketing communications, the word “digital” is in my professional title, and social media is part of my every day job requirement. So there’s that.
Naturally, because I’m a glutton for punishment, I did some quick Google research, which told me that National Siblings Day was created by a sister just like me, a “double loser,” as I affectionately refer to those who have lost two siblings. Claudia Evart had an entirely sweet idea when she conceived of the day in 1997 as an addition to Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.: Celebrate and recognize the relationship between brothers and sisters. I’m all over that.
However, look at what Wikipedia suggests:
Examples of commemoration during this observance include giving your sibling a gift (including a surprise gift), a giftcard, and taking one out for dinner. Nonmaterial examples of observances during this day includes giving hugs to your sibling(s), enjoying time with them, and honoring their presence in your life.
Now that’s just cruel when your siblings are dead. Plus, Evart chose today specifically because it was her deceased sister’s birthday. So maybe a few other suggestions are needed? Here are a few of mine:
If you’re missing your brother or sister, remember how they used to pin you down, sit on your skull, and fart right into your face. Mad at them? Post a photo of them on social media from when they turned 14 and had braces, glasses, and a bowl cut. Or decide it’s OK to be a little sad, a bit melancholy, or even just quiet about it. Alternately, rant about how this is A DAY.
While National Siblings Day isn’t nationally recognized, that doesn’t seem to matter in the magical worlds of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Today, I will scroll past dozens of pictures and stories and love notes and beefs written by friends and family to and about their brothers and sisters.
Just like this one.