“In the end — maybe not today or even tomorrow — but eventually — The Three Sisters stand together. United by the shared experience of Their Lives. The Love of their parents, their extended family, and yes, even each other — this will bind them together.”

My experience has been the opposite of this. In my family growing up I was one of four kids; two boys and two girls. The sibling rivalry was so intense it was like being in a constant state of war. And neither of our parents ever had any of our backs. We were left to duke it out on our own. While this may have prepared us for a dog-eat-dog, every-man-for-himself world, it did nothing to create or maintain anything close to family bonds and unity. Once we grew up and left the house of hell we all went our separate ways and communication between us came to an end.

I used to try to play peacemaker in fights my siblings were having but it always blew up in my face. I finally gave up.

When I became a parent I was adamant about having only ONE child. I didn’t want my daughter to suffer through the vicious hell of sibling rivalry. I have since wondered if I somehow short-changed her. Some time ago I asked her if she felt deprived by being an only child.

“Absolutely not!” she replied. “I always felt lucky because of that. I didn’t even know what sibling rivalry was until I saw it in other families. It seemed so bizarre. I didn’t understand it at all. Of course, now my two daughters are teaching me all about sibling rivalry and it’s not pretty. Now I’m even more thankful that I was an only child.”

Every time I go over for playtime with my granddaughters their sibling rivalry has only gotten worse. It breaks my heart. I only hope that what you say, Ann, is true and when they grow up they will still talk to one another and that somehow love will reign supreme. Although sibling love is something I have never experienced I pray that my granddaughter will eventually show me that it really can exist. Your article, Ann, gives me hope. Thanks.

Earthling — Lifelong novelist & essayist — https://whitefeather.substack.com/

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