Of all the things that we might ever become a part of, a family is the most strange. The most confusing, most transient and most consistent. A shabby collection, a crucible of ideas, a mismatch of personalities. Characters that might jar under natural circumstances find themselves closer than lovers ; the binds that hold us to our siblings and parents are extraordinary mechanisms.
A few years ago my Mum and I visited my brothers in Hong Kong, we took a boat trip to a lagoon and spent the day jumping from the roof and lying in the sun. My big brothers still exert a strange force over their little sister; for the whole trip I had been eating man size dinner portions and stopped wearing any decent kind of make-up, all for fear of their hilarious girl taunts. This resulted in a stunning collection of photo’s from said boat trip of yours truly in a bikini; chubby, shiny-faced, with a bright red belly courtesy of my conceding to my brothers’ belly-flop dare. The question worth asking is why? And I know I’m not the only one. There have been numerous times when I’ve witnessed my sweetly spoken better half transform quite unexpectedly into some kind of cockney cheeky chappy around his older brother.
Younger siblings will probably always be checking for acceptance, but i don't think that's really what family is for. It’s what you’re growing from, it’s mistakes you might make, it’s obligation and it’s guilt. It’s the first people you meet, and just as survivors of any great disaster, you’re united through what you have experienced together. To feel part of a family is to be part of a powerful machine, and nobody cares if you’re rusty as long as you’re ticking.