Brother and Sister: A Family Tradition!

It snowed last year too:  I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea. ~Dylan Thomas

My father James was the first-born son of James and Margaret Pointkouski.  Just before his eighth birthday, a new addition arrived to the household – a baby sister, Jean.  As my grandmother recuperated in the hospital, her son sent a note:

Dear mother, How are you and how is baby sister.  I am doing find. I am a good little boy.  I forgot to tell the Ladys in school that baby sister just looks like me.  I am having a good time playing after school.  I will be seeing you.  Kisses for you and baby sister. xxxxxxxxxX  P.S. By your son Jimmy

James and Jean Pointkouski, 1949
James and Jean Pointkouski, 1949

Little did Jimmy know then that history would repeat itself.  Jimmy grew up and got married.  His wife was surprised at the large age difference between brother and sister – surely they wouldn’t have children that far apart.  Their first child was a stillborn baby girl.  But a son was born the following year, James Drew.  Despite efforts to provide brothers and sisters to only-child Drew, none came.  None, that is, until shortly before Drew’s eighth birthday when a new addition arrived to the household – a baby sister, Donna.

Drew was happy at first, but quickly became dismayed and suggested that perhaps our parents ought to “return” me to the hospital as if I was broken.  When asked why, he replied, “She can’t talk and she can’t walk – she can’t do anything!”  Fortunately I got a repreive from my parents, and eventually I learned how to talk, walk, and do everything.

Drew and Donna Pointkouski, 1973
Drew and Donna Pointkouski, 1973

Having an 8-year gap between brother and sister has its ups and downs. My aunt and I had a big brother to look up to; my father and brother had a little sister to protect.  But by the time my aunt and I were old enough to really “get along” with our brothers, they were out of the house on their own.  Because of that, both brother and sister experienced life as an “only child” while also knowing the joys and sorrows of being a sibling.  One thing is for sure – no matter how old we all get, no matter if we see eye to eye or not, or have anything in common, as my mother always says, “Blood is thicker than water” – which means we’ll always be there for each other no matter what.  That’s what brothers and sisters are for!


[Written for the 11th edition of the Smile for the Camera Carnival: Brothers & Sisters.]


3 thoughts on “Brother and Sister: A Family Tradition!

  1. I absolutely loved this story of parallel sets of siblings 8- years apart – and it rings so true for me. How do I know? Because my older brother was 8+ years older than I was. Great at some times, but at others, well, my brother’s rule was that he was the only one allowed to torment me (would “take care” of others who picked on me, but could always hold me at arm’s length to keep my wildly swinging fists from making contact when he himself was the tormentor). Beautiful post!

  2. My first sister and I were like peas in a pod – less than 2 years apart and with lots of shared memories from our toddlerhood.
    When we were 10 and 12 years old we got a brand-new sister and we were delighted! I’ve always been grateful that I could experience two kinds of sisterhood.
    Evelyn in Montreal

  3. Donna – this is a wonderful story! I was born when my brother was 21 & already married & my sister was a sophomore in high school – so I grew up like an “only”. That’s probably why I wanted lots of kids of my own so they wouldn’t be “only”s! I liked that your dad & brother had the “little sister” thing in common!

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