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Who Has Your Back? Sibs Egging Each Other On

May 11, 2015


So we went on a family vacation to Sunset Beach, North Carolina May 2-6. Yes, that is a little early for beach weather even in the Carolinas, but we got lucky. The weather was warm and lovely for the three days my husband and I we were able to be there. (So fortunate to have missed the first named tropical storm of the season, Ana just a week later in the same area!)

Since it was early May, I said I wasn’t going to go in the ocean much over my ankles. I’m chilly by nature, so I figured I’d freeze. I’d wade like a proper grandmother of two, play with the little ones in the sand, and walk the beach.

ScottPaddleboardNephew Scott trying out the paddleboard.

The first thing I knew there was my nephew, Scott, walking on water, kind of. Scott was standing up on a paddleboard which looks like a surfboard but is flat, and paddling like he steered a gondola everyday. This was on a calm canal behind the beach house we were using. But then, Scott’s a strong and agile guy just in his late 30s.

It looked cool, but no way was I going to do that.

PertPaddleboardScott, left, and sister Pert on paddleboard. Yay Pert!

The next thing I knew there was my next older sister standing up on the paddleboard like she surfed everyday.

The ante was upped. And I was back in my childhood where siblings egg each other on to do things they maybe wouldn’t ordinarily do. If Pert could do it, two years older, I would have to, too.

Besides, it was free, provided by the beach house owner. And it would make a great blog brag, right?

MelodiePaddleboardShould I go upstream first, which was harder, or float downstream?

Later that day, indeed I tried my sea legs on the paddleboard, with plenty of support and suggestions for how to stand, wide-legged, for better balance. I didn’t venture very far, but checked another thing off my imaginary bucket list.

MelodieSideviewPaddleboard2Blue skies ahead! I matched my sister and upped the ante again.

I knew my oldest sister—actually more of a daredevil than I but with more health issues—would not be able to let her little sisters outdo her.

NancyPaddleboardOldest sister Nancy on the paddleboard, with her grandson, Stone, backing her up. Yay Nan!

Cha-ching! Three sisters in their sixties all passed the paddleboard test, and no one ended up getting wet.

A couple days later my nephew talked my husband into trying out the kayak that was also sitting on the dock wanting to get wet. Stuart has long wanted to try kayaking, but never really had or made the opportunity. With some mobility issues, he knew it wouldn’t be easy getting in and out. Scott said “Better do it while you have a chance” and talked him through it and also provided some muscle getting out.

StuartKayakStuart, left with nephew Scott alongside.

But more than just daring each other to go further than we’d gone before in adventures, its great when family members keep you going in other ways as well: encouragement, praise, constructive criticism, hugs, a helping hand, support across many miles. When the going is tough, as it has been many times in the past for our wider family and just as it surely will be in the future, I thank God for sibs to share the daring-do and the holding each other.

MeganRescuingStoneStone, left, accepting a rescue  paddle from younger sister, Megan.

As a fitting example of sibs sticking together, we all enjoyed watching “baby sister” Megan “rescue” her 13-year-old brother Stone (Scott’s kids) a day or so later when Stone launched the paddleboard without remembering to take along a paddle. She got in the kayak and brought him a paddle. Aw, how sweet. Aren’t sibs great?

Not to say others can’t step in and be there for “only” children. Sibling-like ties can come through love and a long or shared history, and stepping in and up as needed.

Who has your back?


Do you have each other’s back or are you more like constantly quibbling puppies?


Or, any stories of how a sibling, young or old, egged you to try a new stunt? Or a new skill? Results?

SibsThelmaAndLouisePert and Kathy’s new pugs, sibs Thelma and Louise. You’ll meet the great vet hospital where they hang out in a later blog post.



From → Faith, Family Life

  1. I still bear a graphite scar on my right arm where one of my sisters stabbed me with a pencil years and years ago.

    Since then we have vacationed with each other’s families and cleared out Mother’s house together. Just this weekend, my sibs and I spent 4 days in Charleston, SC with hardly a snag in the sisterhood. (Gorgeous weather too.)

    I admire all that balancing on little boats in the water. Of course, I agree with Scott: Do it while you can!

    • I like the honesty of this: good old pencil stab. Ouch! I’m glad you all have each other’s backs now apparently, rather than the alternative. I’m sure we’ll be seeing lovely Charleston and your sister trip shortly!

  2. Caro-Claire Wiles permalink

    Hi Melodie
    I enjoyed your stories here today with your siblings and family time.
    Sadly I only have one adopted sister and our relationship was sadly severed after the passing of our parents.
    However I have been blessed with many very close girlfriends who have been like sisters to me and I know anyone of them would have my back!
    One girl in particular has become my “l’ll sis” and I am her “big sis”!
    There are a few years difference in our ages and we correspond many times by email every day!
    Both of us are going through some difficult family situations and it is good to know there is always a shoulder ready for one another on either side of the computer !
    I have shared this reading with her and also with another friend who does have close siblings and who get together every spring on vacation with their families down in the Carolinas..
    We all live in Ontario Canada Hugs

    • Caro-Claire, you help to bring me in touch with the reality of the pain that is out there for so many. My wonderful sister in law is also very much there for me, especially shoulder-wise. How neat to have a friend you correspond with several times a day. That is just wonderful. Blessings!

      • Caro-Claire Wiles permalink

        Yes Melodie
        So often people are going through very difficult times and yet they try to put on brave faces and pretend there is nothing going on in their lives
        The older I get the more I tend to be more honest with others who may not think you could ever have a problem and it helps them to maybe open up with things that they are going through and it sometimes helps to let them know they are not alone and often a spirit empathy springs up together.

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