Oh Brother, Oh Sister. Kathy's News

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“What am I, Mom or something?” My son joked, and his two sisters and brother started laughing, I started to get offended, but what’s the point? The four of my kids have what most siblings have; a unique filter and understanding of life in our family, which isn’t experienced by anyone else. And let’s face it, besides your parents, they’re the ones who know you the best…and who bug you the most. Brothers and sisters are often a dazzling combination of worst enemies and best friends, from the time that bundle comes home from the hospital to the day the older one moves out and leaves the rest behind.

On the new CBC family drama, “This Life”, which chronicles the lives of the Lawson family, Mom Natalie is the central character, but it’s the sibling relationships between her own kids, and that she has with her own brothers and sister, which play out the most interesting parts of the storylines.

There’s a scene before Natalie’s tragic medical diagnosis when the adult siblings and their parents get together to have dinner, on a weeknight, just because. It’s a good reminder that we don’t have to wait for a special occasion like Thanksgiving to see our brothers and sisters. We can be thankful them, any day.

For instance, there’s always someone to blame something on, or turn the focus to, when you’re getting in trouble. “She’s always late for school” is a great response when you’re being talked to for purposefully failing a math test, as youngest daughter Romy Lawson attempts.

They’re the best pitcher and receiver of the “Mom is so annoying” eye roll during the middle of Thanksgiving dinner when she’s telling that same story about how you climbed up the outside of the bannister railing when you were two.

They are the best and worst secret keepers, in the best way. “You can’t tell anyone”, says Natalie, as she tells her younger sister about her upsetting medical news. “I won’t. I swear” says Maggie, as she picks up the phone to call her younger brother and drives over to see her older brother with the news, almost simultaneously.

They’re the best cheerleaders. “THAT’S MY SISTER!” yelled my oldest daughter, who made an unusual visit to a hockey arena where my youngest daughter was playing. Of course, she only yelled that once she had scored a goal. “Even if you come in last in your triathlon, I’ll be cheering for you”, says Romy to her big sister Emma on the show.

They toughen you up. If you can survive siblings you can survive almost anything. “I’m playing with him!” , said my then two year old daughter as I caught her whipping stuffed animals at her infant brother’s head, as he haplessly swung back in forth, captive in his baby swing. He didn’t really seem to be enjoying that game, but you can enjoy episode 1 of This Life on online anytime at http://www.cbc.ca/thislife/.

Episode 2 airs Monday night October 12th at 9:00pm/9:30NT.


Kathy Buckworth is a writer, personality and host who lives in Toronto, Canada. She is a major press contributor, the author of 6 books, and is an international travel writer.

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