5 REASONS TO CELEBRATE SIBLING’S DAY

April 10 is Sibling’s Day.

Now I’m not sure whether or not there is an apostrophe between sibling and the s.  As in Sibling’s.  Just like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day.

According to those grammarians in the know, there are actually three ways to go: Siblings Day, Sibling’s Day, or Sibling’s Day.   The consensus seems to be the third.  So, in this post,  Sibling’s it is.

http://writingexplained.org/fathers-day-or-fathers-day-is-there-an-apostrophe-in-fathers-day

However you punctuate it, there is an official Sibling’s Day organization whose goal is to make Sibling’s Day a federally recognized day, like Mother’s and Father’s Days. According to siblingday.org,  Siblings’ Day has been so well accepted over the last decade that it was granted a “Service Mark” in 2007 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The goal is to make this a federally recognized day, like Mother’s and Father’s Days.

http://www.siblingsday.org/

There you have it.  Whether it’s a federally recognized day or one celebrated in some states but not others, why bother celebrating the day in the first place?  Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. The sibling connection is life’s longest-lasting relationship.  Siblings can be the only intimate connection to last.  Friends and neighbors may move away, former coworkers are often forgotten, marriages end in divorce, but our brothers and sisters remain our brothers and sisters.
  2.  Siblings can provide an essential support system for good times and bad.  They can be there when a parent is ill or dying.  (On the other hand, only children usually face this transition on their own.)  And siblings can celebrate the good times like marriages, holidays, nieces and nephews.
  3. Over the years, we and our siblings can change.  The relationship is fluid and deep.  Often, conflicted connections during childhood morph into loving, intimate connections as we age.  Sibling’s Day is a chance to give a shout out to our siblings for their willingness (and ours) to change.
  4. Siblings help us understand why we are, how we are, and the way we are.  They serve as mirrors for identity . . . an important mirror for anyone who wants to connect with personal experience.  So, grab your mirror and have a look.
  5. Siblings share a history that no one else understands.  Do you remember the time when — mom threw the potato across the room?  When we took that camping trip, and Uncle Dan threatened to leave us and go home?   When I was grounded for sneaking out my bedroom window?  You can go to your siblings to reminisce, to laugh/cry about the past, to answer questions no one else can.

“Celebrate, celebrate . . . dance to the music.”  Or call a truce, offer an olive branch/a peace pipe.  April 10 is Sibling’s Day.  (Notice the punctuation.)

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JL-Siblings-Hdr

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WRITING ABOUT SEX

Nope.  This isn’t a racy story about me and my sexual escapades.

Instead, it’s about the fascination we have about sex and, as a result, why sex sells.

I have a perfect example:  Yesterday, I posted a blog titled “Grandmother Lover” here and on Medium.  I didn’t dare go off script and disrupt my focus on siblings and publicize my ramblings on the more visible sites like Twitter and Facebook.  Never know where Big Brother is lurking or when publishers, distributors, literary agents decide to read my stuff.

Still, I just HAD to blog somewhere.  The night before, I’d happened upon “Grandmother Lover,” a documentary about younger men (I’m talking in their 30s) and older women . . . grandmothers, great grandmothers in their 80s, even 90s.

http://janeleder.net

Okay, I’m not a prude.  And I like to consider myself an accepting woman who honors all kinds of wacko stuff.  And, as I wrote yesterday, I went along with this phenomenon because, at first, it gave me hope—hope that, if in the highly unlikely circumstance I were ever in the market for a new man, the wrinkles, crepe skin, sagging everything wouldn’t matter.  I could find a man, a young man, who would think I’m the best thing since the great grandmother he’d wooed before me.

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I titled my post “Grandmother Lovers.”  Guess what?  I had more views on this blog than I’d had in weeks, maybe months.  And I can’t lie: it felt great to have had so many people interested in what I had to say.

But then?  Not so much.  As a sassy senior, would I now have to sprinkle my posts with some kind of sex material or references?  Is that the best way to entice viewers to my blog and to my web site?

Doesn’t anyone out there care about my thoughts on family relationships?  Writing?  Boomers+?

Why is there a need for bloggers, advertisers, and anyone else, for that matter, to use sex in order to have their voice heard or their brand seen?

Even though there have been studies which conclude that sex doesn’t sell, the common belief is that it does.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/madeline-wahl/why-its-unfortunate-that-sex-sells_b_5433251.html

Think the barrage of ads for erectile dysfunction and all those loving couples who apparently can’t wait to jump in the sack.  Or think the sexy woman wearing a sports jersey who, in a soft, come-hither voice, suggests that, yes, men like sports but after the game, they want to get it on.

I could just puke.

I’m not an author of romance and will never be.  It just isn’t me.  Besides, we have the thirty-two   books that Jackie Collins left behind for all the sex anyone could want.

I think I’m left with continuing to write/post/tweet about lifestyle, family relationships, and boomers+.  The number of folks who follow me will most surely take a swan dive off a cliff.  I’ll try to steel myself  for the defections but, if it’s anything like dropping from #1 on Amazon to #40, then I’m in for a big sulk and thoughts of taking up organic farming.

 

 

 

My Mother/My self

 

Mom and screaming Jane

Okay, so the title isn’t mine.  Can’t help it if Nancy Friday got there first.

She was also the first to finally put the mother/daughter thing on the map.  Today, it’s normal currency for women to “get” the importance of acknowledging and honoring their own identity—their own “stuff”—as separate from their mother’s.

But a funny thing happened on Friday’s way to writing the book.  She discovered that daughters often “become” their mothers—or some facsimile thereof.

Today, for example, I dropped a pen or an almond or an earring on the floor under my desk.  As I reached down with an outstretched arm to retrieve it, I heard myself say, “Hells bells.”  Hells bells?  Who would ever use that expression?

Three guesses and the first two don’t count.

I agree: That’s rather inconsequential.  I mean, I can say “Hells bells” every once in a while with no dire consequences.

But then there are those “All I want is for you to be happy” moments when talking with my son (or anyone else) about some crazy decision he’s about to make.  Inside, I’m screaming:  “What a friggin’ stupid idea.”  But, like my mother before me, I have to give the impression that I’ll be supportive, no matter what.

I saw right through my mother when she pulled out that unconditional love bit.  I knew she wanted things her way.  But she played a good game and now, as her daughter, I play a good game, too.

My mother had a hard time owning up to her mistakes.  None of us really likes to admit that we’re wrong or made a bad decision. But she held her ground as fiercely as a mama bear protecting her cubs.  An example?  She read my diary.  Okay, so I’d forgotten to lock it.  But, hey, it was my personal property that sat on my desk in my bedroom.  But my mother just happened to see it sitting there when she was dusting or doing whatever and thought she could go ahead and read it.

She would have gotten away with her transgression, and I never would have known that she knew more about my life than I’d ever intended to share.  Ever!  Unfortunately, the entry detailed my stealing out of the house via my bedroom window and heading downtown where my two girlfriends and I hung out with a couple of sailors on leave.

The whole thing was innocent enough.  My mother didn’t see it that way.  She grounded me for six weeks and took away all phone privileges.  (No cell phones back then.  Just one phone in the hall for the use of my three siblings and me.)

My mother and I argued about this “event” until a year or so before her death when, by then, she could no longer remember our “battle,” or anything else.

Alas, I have a tendency not to admit that I’m wrong.  (My husband points this out on a regular basis.)  My mother/ my self.

My mother was a planner.  She always had one foot in the future and a To Do list that she wrote almost every morning.  I still write a To Do list but, thankfully, have learned over the years to try to stay present and not be too worried about tomorrow, next week, or next year.

And another thing: I like to have my way.  I’m a determined woman just like my mother.  She was tenacious and gave ground infrequently.  She wanted to sell the condo on the Gulf of Mexico and move to a new, state-of-the-art senior living community. My father wanted nothing to do with a move.  He was quite comfortable, thank you, in the condo on the water and saw no need to pick up and relocate.  They were in their mid-80s.  My mother was convinced that they move while they still had the energy for such an undertaking.

They moved.

So, what’s a daughter to do?  She loves her mother and all that.  But the last thing she wants is to be just like her.  (Hells.  Bells.  I even have the same lines above and below my lips and the identical double lines in between my eyebrows.)

After a lot of introspection, my solution is to embrace all my mother’s traits that have served me well: responsibility, organization, a sense of purpose.  And for those modeled traits that can push me down the wrong path with myself and others?  I try to accept them as part of what makes me my mother’s daughter—to recognize them, acknowledge them and, whenever possible, to change them.